This is a minestra that Grandma used to make in Salerno. I do it the same way although sometimes I cheat a little and use store bought stock. It’s a fairly simple recipe, even if you make your own stock.
Remove the bones and cut thigh meat into small bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and black pepper and brown in the oil and remove.
Sauté celery and onion over low heat until soft – don’t brown. If there’s too much fat left from browning the chicken, drain the excess. Add oregano, stock, bring to a boil and deglaze pot. Simmer 10 minutes.
Return chicken and simmer for another 10 minutes covered.
Check for seasoning, bring to a boil and add pasta. As the pasta cooks and absorbs the stock, add hot water to keep a soupy consistency. Serve with grated parmigiana.
Chicken Baked with Paprika – a one pan Middle Eastern dish with just a few simple ingredients. I’m using thighs but you can substitute a whole chicken cut into pieces.
Chicken Baked with Paprika
Mix the spices with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to make a paste. Don’t be tempted to use more than 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. A little goes a long way.
Combine the room temperature chicken and onion and throughly coat with the paste. It’s easier if you use your hands for this. Arrange the chicken pieces skin side up in an oiled pan and bake in a 500o preheated oven for 30 minutes.
When done, remove the chicken and onions from pan and place in a serving dish. Heat the pan on the stove, add a pat of butter and deglaze with white wine. Pour the sauce over the chicken. We usually serve this with rice.
This is Martha’s recipe but she used one 4-pound chicken instead of two 2-pound young chickens and shallots where I used red onion.
Spatchcocked chicken is splayed or butterflied. It’s done this way so it cooks faster or can be cooked on a grill. It’s also easier to carve than a whole roasted chicken.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Starting at thigh end, cut along 1 side of backbone with kitchen shears. Turn chicken around; cut along other side. Discard backbone or save for stock. Flip chicken, and open it like a book. Press firmly on breastbone to flatten.
Rub chicken with 1 tablespoon oil, and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Brush 1 tablespoon oil in the center of a rimmed baking sheet slightly larger than the size of the chicken, and place half the lemon slices in a single layer on top of oil. Place chicken, skin side up, on lemons. Beginning at the neck end of breast, carefully loosen skin from flesh of breast and thighs with your fingers. Slide remaining lemon slices under skin in a single layer.
Roast chicken 20 minutes. Toss onions with remaining teaspoon oil, and scatter around chicken. Continue to roast chicken until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reaches 165 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes more.
Transfer the chickens to a serving platter, and let it rest 10 minutes. Cut it into halves or serve whole with roasted some lemons, onions, and pan juices.
Variations of pilaf are served from the Middle East to the steppes of Central Asia. Rice is sautéed in oil and then cooked in seasoned broth or stock. Onions or garlic and other vegetables, dried fruits and spices can be added and it may also contain meat or fish. This version is made with chicken, raisins and pine nuts and can also be done with game birds, rabbit or lamb.
Season chicken pieces with salt and black pepper and bring to room temperature. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and butter and brown the chicken in a pot.
When done, remove chicken, lower heat and drain fat except for no more than 2 tablespoons and add flour and blend.
Add garlic and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and stir and deglaze pot.
Remove the meat from the 2 breast bones and cut it into bite sized pieces. Return legs, wings, thighs, back and cut up breast pieces, lower heat and simmer on low and covered for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan fry the rice in 1 tbsp. of oil. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn but begins to brown slightly. When done remove it from the hot pan or it will continue to cook.
After the chicken simmers for 15 minutes, add the sautéed rice, pinoles and golden raisins.
Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for another 20 minutes for a total of 35 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is done.
Pan roasted chicken with rosemary is simple – not too many ingredients and easy to prepare.
Remove backbone with poultry shears and cut chicken in half. Your butcher can do that for you if you’d like.
Mix rosemary, garlic, ½ of the oil and ½ tsp. each of kosher salt and black pepper. Grind with a mortar and pestle. Rub this mix all over chicken cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 400o and put rack in lower 3rd. Heat the pan on the top of the stove with the rest of the oil. Put the room temperature chicken in the pan, skin side down, and brown it for about 5 minutes.
Move the pan to the pre-heated oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes. When almost done, turn chicken and roast another five minutes to crisp the skin. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and let it rest about 10 minutes before serving.
Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°. Remove the backbone from the chicken and cut it in half (you can have your butcher do this). Season the room temperature chicken with salt and pepper. Mix the spice rub in a small bowl. Sprinkle chicken with spice mixture and rub it in. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned and beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the glaze ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan and cook until thickened and syrupy, 12–15 minutes. Discard garlic.
Transfer the chicken to a plate and arrange pineapple slices in pan and baste them with the glaze.
Place chicken, skin side up, on top of the pineapple. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 40–45 minutes.
When chicken is done, brush it with glaze and roast just until glaze is bubbling, about 2 minutes; repeat with any remaining glaze. Let it rest 10 minutes. Serve chicken and pineapple with any juices from skillet alongside.
Skin-On Chicken Breast is similar to and simpler than doing the duck breasts from my last post. Have your butcher remove the bone from the breast leaving the skin in place or you can do that yourself.
Put them on a cutting board and cover with Saran. Pound them to an even thickness – about ¾ inch.
Blot them dry and season with salt and pepper and refrigerate uncovered for at least 1 hour. Bring them to room temperature before cooking.
Add a little oil to a cold pan. Put the breasts in skin side down and turn the heat on to medium. Weigh down the breasts so the skin makes full contact and browns evenly – it should take about 6 – 8 minutes.
With a sharp knife, lightly score the fat cover on the duck breast diagonally in a cross hatch pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat.
Season on both sides with salt and pepper and allow the breast to sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
Place pan over medium heat. Place the breast skin side down and turn up heat to medium-high. Put a weight on it to assure full contact with the pan. I use an old iron. You can use a dish with a soup or tomato can on top. Let it sizzle for about 8 minutes (for a1 lb. breast) until skin is crisp and golden. Take a peek about half way through to see how dark it’s getting and adjust the heat if necessary.
Turn breast over and cook 6 to 8 minutes more. If you have one, check temperature with an instant-read thermometer. It should read about 125 degrees when it’s done. It’s not chicken so don’t be afraid to serve it rare.
Let the breast rest on a warm platter for about 10 minutes before slicing.
A properly cooked duck breast can be eaten as-is, but if you’d like a semi-sweet sauce try this one.
Cacciatore is Italian for “hunter” and alla cacciatora means “hunter-style,” or how my grandmother would pronounce it in her Salernitano dialect, cacciadode. The idea of this recipe is that a hunter could prepare it in one pot on a camp fire in the field. The meat was whatever game that was hunted, mushrooms and rosemary were picked nearby and the other ingredients, wine, garlic ,etc., were easy enough to carry. Alla cacciatora works well with domesticated fowl as well as game birds and rabbit.
The Cacciatore you get in American Italian restaurants is usually done with a heavy tomato sauce. This version is much more basic and simple.
Chicken or Rabbit Alla Cacciatora
Brown seasoned chicken (or rabbit) in oil and remove.
Brown mushrooms (any type available) in the fat and oil in the same pot.
Add garlic, rosemary and tomato. This isn’t a “red” sauce. The tomato is just there for moisture. You can use ½ cup of water instead. Return meat to pot.
Raise heat and add red wine vinegar and cover and steam for 5 minutes.
Add red wine, I use Chianti, and simmer for 15 minutes uncovered.
This is more about the sauce than the chicken so if you have your own Southern fried chicken recipe, feel free to use it. If not, try this:
Start with a 3 ½ to 4 lb. chicken. You can simply quarter it or cut it into the standard 8 pieces (wings, thighs, legs and breasts) then cut each breast in 2 or 3 smaller pieces and cut the left over back into 2 pieces.
If you want to brine it, add ½ cup of salt and ½ cup of sugar to 2 quarts of water. Add chicken and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Blot the chicken dry and then dredge it in flour mixed with some salt and pepper. Fry it in about ¾ inch of peanut oil, turning as necessary until golden brown – about 20 – 25 minutes or until internal temperature reached 160o. Keep the cooked chicken in a low oven until you’re ready to serve it.
Now for the sauce –
Just mix this all together and serve it with a pastry brush instead of a spoon. Nashville Hot Fried Chicken is traditionally served on a slice of white bread with pickle slices.