Saturday, January 18, 2014

Easy and Delicious Italian Chicken

I'll admit that I've been on an Italian kick since I went to the tasting at Michael Coon's Casa de Cocinas in November honoring Italian chef Marcella Hazan.

After studying her recipes, I like that she uses very simple ingredients and when a recipe calls for few ingredients, make sure they are the freshest, highest-quality ingredients you can find.

Marcella Hazan said you cannot rush the food or you won't get the deep, rich flavors so sit back, have a glass or two of wine and let the complex flavors develop. You'll be richly rewarded with three of the best Chicken dishes you've tasted in a long time.

I served the Pan-roasted Chicken with Rosemary, Garlic and White Wine I cooked today with a sliced orange that I just picked from the tree in my back yard. Delizioso!

Buen Apetito!

Pan-roasted Chicken with Rosemary, Garlic and White Wine
Recipe: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
A 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 4 pieces
2 or 3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 sprig of fresh rosemary broken in two
Ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine

Put the butter and oil in a saute pan, turn on the heat to medium high, and when the butter foam begins to subside, put in the chicken quarters, skin side down.

Brown the chicken well on both sides, then add the garlic and rosemary. Cook the garlic until it becomes colored a pale gold, and add salt, pepper and the wine. Let the wine simmer briskly for about 30 seconds, then adjust heat to cook at a low simmer, and put a lid on the pan, setting it slightly ajar. Cook until the bird’s thigh feels very tender when prodded with a fork and the meat comes easily off the bone, calculating between 20 - 25 minutes per pound. If while the chicken is cooking, you find that the liquid has become insufficient, replenish it with 1 or 2 tablespoons water as needed.

When done, transfer the chicken to a warm serving platter, using a slotted spoon or spatula. Remove the garlic from the pan. Tip the pan, spooning off all but a little of the fat. Turn up the heat to high, and boil the water away while loosening cooking residues from the bottom and sides with a wooden spoon.

Pour the pan juices over the chicken and serve at once.

Fricasseed Chicken Abruzzi-style with Rosemary, White Wine, Cherry Tomatoes, and Olives.
Recipe: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 or 5 whole peeled garlic cloves
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves, chopped very fine
Chopped hot chili pepper, 1/4 teaspoon or to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
Two dozen cherry tomatoes if no larger than 1 inch or proportionately fewer if larger
A dozen small black olives in brine such as Italian Riviera or French nicoise olives.

Wash all the chicken pieces in cold water and pat dry with kitchen towels.

Choose a skillet or sauté pan that can contain all the chicken pieces in one layer without crowding.

Put in the oil, garlic, and rosemary and turn on the heat to high.

Add the chicken, the skin side facing down. When that side has been well browned, turn the pieces and do the other side. Sprinkle with salt, add the chili pepper, and with a wooden spoon turn over the contents of the pan three or four times.

Add the wine and as it bubbles, scrape loose with the wooden spoon any browning residues sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Put a lid on the pan and turn the heat down to low. Cook for about 35 minutes, turning the chicken over from time to time. If you should find that the-juices in the pan have become insufficient to keep the meat from sticking to the bottom, replenish them when necessary with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water.

When the chicken is very tender--the meat should come easily off-the bone--add the tomatoes and the olive mixture. Continue cooking just until the tomatoes' skin begins to crack. Transfer all the contents of the pan to a warm platter and serve at once.

Chicken Cacciatore
Recipe: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

1 3-4 lb. Chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups raw plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
I used cherry tomatoes and did not peel them
Salt and pepper

Wash chicken pieces in cold water and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels.
Put oil and onions in skillet over medium heat. Cook until onions are translucent.
Add garlic. Add chicken pieces, skin side down, being careful not to crowd the pan.

Brown chicken on all sides.

Add salt, pepper, and white wine. Continue to cook until wine is reduced by half.

Add tomatoes. Turn heat down to simmer, cover (but leave slightly off to vent), and cook 40 minutes or until thigh is cooked through, stirring and basting occasionally.