Tasty Braised Chicken and Pasta

Oops! Rookie move, getting the shadow of the camera in the picture! Unfortunately, the others were blurry.

Kind of like “Hunter’s Chicken”

Shopping list:
4 Chicken bone-in Leg Thigh Combos
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
1 Bunch Basil, chiffonade
2 small Zucchini, halved and sliced

Pantry Items:
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Medium Onion, chopped
Olive Oil
1 tsp. Dried Thyme
Dry Vermouth or White Wine
Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan or other hard Italian style cheese.

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Heat a pot of water for the pasta.

Separate the legs from the thighs at the joint. Salt generously. Heat pan, heavy, oven safe pan. Add a good amount of Olive Oil. Brown thighs and legs, in batches if necessary. Remove from pan and reserve. Brown zucchini. Reserve. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and dried thyme to pan. Reduce heat and cook briefly. Deglaze with Dry Vermouth, and cook until syrupy. Add tomatoes and cook until they begin to split. Nestle Legs and thighs in with tomatoes and add chicken stock until it comes half way up the pan. Cook on top of the stove until it begins to simmer. Cover and transfer to oven.

Once the Chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan and reserve. Return the (very hot!) pan to stove top and cook on high. Boil the Fettuccine. Add the browned zucchini to the tomato and stock mixture. Once the Fettuccine reaches al dente, pull and add to tomato mixture. Add half of the basil, check seasonings, and serve in pasta dish. Place a leg and thigh on top of the pasta, sprinkle with basil chiffonade and freshly grated Parmesan. Serve with tasty red wine and crusty bread.

Serves 4

Roast Chicken Breasts with Porcini Risotto

Had a friend over Friday night and made Roast Chicken Breasts with Porcini Mushroom Risotto. Unfortunately, too busy cooking to take pictures.

I first made a gremolata-substance as a sort of “rub” for the chicken.

Mince 3 cloves garlic, zest of one lemon, 1/4 cup parsley, and 2 tablespoons fresh oregano. To this add a good amount of salt, freshly ground pepper, and a quarter cup of olive oil. Rub this all over 2 bone-in, skin on, chicken breasts, taking special care to get the mixture under the skin over the breast.

Pre-heat oven to 425 F.

Do the risotto prep:

Rehydrate a quarter to half cup of dried porcini mushrooms in enough boiling water to cover. After they have rehydrated and cooled enough to handle, remove the mushrooms using a slotted spoon. Mince the mushrooms. Strain the liquid through a couple layers of fine cheese cloth or a paper towel. Put it in a sauce pan over very low heat on the stove.
Finely dice 1/2 onion and 1/2 carrot.
Slice 1/2 onion, lengthwise.
Slice 6 Crimini Mushrooms.
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, and 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme.
Grate 1/2 cup Parmesano Reggiano.
You’ll also need 3 or 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock added to the mushroom liquid above, and a quarter cup of cream (optional).

Put the chicken breasts on a roasting pan and place in the oven.

Saute the sliced mushrooms until they have given up their water and start to brown. Add the sliced onion, season with a little salt, and cook until translucent. Deglaze the pan with white wine or vermouth. Cook until the wine or vermouth is syrupy, and remove the pan from heat.

Heat another large saute pan. Add a good amount of olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add 1 cup Arborio rice and cook, stirring frequently, until it starts to smell toasted. Add the diced onions and carrots and cook until onions are translucent. Begin by adding a good ladle full of warm stock to the rice and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue adding stock gradually as it evaporates and cooks into the rice.

Hopefully, somewhere around here, your chicken breasts will have reached around 155 F on an instant read thermometer. Remove from oven and allow to rest until you finish the risotto.

When the risotto is nearly done, but still a little toothsome, check the seasonings, stir in the cream and sauteed mushrooms and onions, and chopped dried mushrooms. Add minced herbs. While stirring, add in the Parmesan, reserving a bit to add on top when serving. If it seems too Sticky add a bit more stock or cream to loosen.

Place the Risotto on the plate, sprinkle with a little parm and freshly ground pepper. Slice the chicken breasts and lay next to the risotto. Serve with a crusty bread, a nice red wine, and maybe simple salad of greens in a light vinaigrette.

Some Things Get Better With Age

I was hoping this would be the Beer of the week post. Unfortunately, this stout didn’t do much for me. A bit thin, with the coffee flavor really only present as an aftertaste.

Believe it or not, I’ve really had this wok since 1985. Asian IGA on Park Street in Madison, Wisconsin. And, yes, it does seem to get better with age.

Minced seasonings.

Cornstarch dissolved in water.

Marinating chicken.



Cooked Chicken.

Stir fried chicken with cashews and spinach.