Monday, June 26, 2017

Smothered Chicken with Pasta

Developed April, 2017. A hearty skillet meal ready in about an hour.
2.5 lbs chicken thighs, trimmed of excess skin and visible fat
kosher salt
all purpose flour
4 T olive oil, divided
2 T tomato paste
1 medium tomato, chopped finely
6 oz sliced white mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 t dry tarragon, divided
1/4 t red pepper flakes
3/4 c dry white wine
1 to 2 c chicken stock
lemon juice, to taste
1/4 c chopped parsley
1 lb spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine, cooked al dente
reserved pasta water
Season the meat well with salt on both sides, and dust lightly with flour. Heat a 12-inch stainless steel skillet over medium high. Add half the oil. When hot, add the chicken, skin side down. While the meat is browning, prepare the vegetables and seasonings. After about four minutes, turn the chicken and brown the other side. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.  Add the remaining oil to the skillet, sauté the tomato paste, tomato, mushrooms, onions, and garlic until lightly browned and soft. Add wine and cook until half gone. Add back the chicken, skin side up, a teaspoon of tarragon, the pepper flakes, and chicken stock to half cover the meat. Bring to a fast simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is done, about 30 minutes. Add lemon juice to taste, about 1 tablespoon and the other teaspoon of tarragon. Stir in the cooked pasta, adding stock or pasta water as needed, and the remaining tarragon. Cook covered until pasta is tender, garnish with parsley, drizzle on olive oil, and serve in warm bowls.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Skillet-Baked Blueberry Clafoutis

Adapted from a recipe broadcast on PBS, "Growing a Greener World", the perfect brunch dish combines fresh blueberries in a rich, lemony custard with a caramel crust.
2 T unsalted butter
4 T sugar, divided
5 whole eggs
1 c whole milk
1 t vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1/8 t salt
1/2 c all-purpose flour
12 oz blueberries
powdered sugar, optional garnish
Preheat oven to 425°F. In a 10-inch oven-safe, non-stick skillet, combine the butter, with 2 tablespoons sugar and place over medium heat. Meanwhile power whisk the eggs plus the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar on high speed until tripled in volume, and pale, canary yellow in color, about 5 minutes. Then by hand, gradually whisk in the milk, the vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt, and flour until just incorporated. Pour this mixture into the hot pan, top with the blueberries, then transfer into the oven. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top, and the clafoutis has puffed up. Remove from the oven, and turn out onto a cutting board. Slice, and top with the optional powdered sugar. Serves 6 generously.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Chicken and Rice, Italian style

Easy to make, satisfying one-pot supper adapted from Lidiasitaly.com. 
1-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 medium onion, cut in 1-inch chunks
2 medium carrots, cut in 1-inch chunks
2 ribs celery, cut in 1-inch chunks
2 plump garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 T kosher salt, divided
1 bay leaf
1 c dry white wine
5 c hot chicken or turkey stock, plus more if needed
2 c short-grain rice, such as arborio, carnaroli, or paella
2 T butter, cut in pieces
3 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for passing
Trim any excess fat from the thighs, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Using a food processor, mince the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic into a fine-textured pestata. Add the oil to a large heavy saucepan, and set over medium-high heat. Stir in the pestata, and season with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pestata has dried and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken pieces and the bay leaf, and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Turn the chicken in the pan until browned all over, about 4 minutes. Raise the heat, pour in the white wine, and cook, stirring and scraping up the browned bits in the pan, until the wine has almost completely evaporated. Add the hot stock with stirring, and then all the rice. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to keep the rice bubbling gently. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until both the rice and the chicken chunks are fully cooked and the consistency is creamy. Off heat, remove the bayleaf, stir in the butter pieces vigorously until thoroughly combined, then stir in the parsley and the grated cheese. Serve immediately in pasta bowls, passing additional grated cheese at the table. Serves 4 to 6.