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Today’s post is simple, as I have a busy (but fun) day of driving down to the Sacramento area to see my parents then making it back up to Tahoe for a late night staff meeting.  Also, I hurt my thumb and typing is a little less fun than usual right now.  I’m looking forward to a relaxing day off on Thursday, which will hopefully include a nice long run and taking some pictures of the changing aspen trees.

For today’s recipe, I’m using same flavors on chicken that I’ve used before, and they were quite the hit with my fireman last time.  I like the combination of oregano and Marsala wine, which are both common ingredients in Sicily; if you’re a fan of spicy, a few red pepper flakes would be nice to throw into the mix.  These flavors also lend themselves well to roasting.  If you were to roast chicken instead of braising it, remember to baste it every ten minutes or so.  As a roast, the skin comes out crispy and wonderful and the meat is firm and juicy, but as a braise the meat is fall off the bone tender and you get a pan sauce to spoon over your meat and side dishes.  Pick which ever seems best to you!

Drunk Sicilian Chicken – with risotto

Serves 3 – approx $1.62 per serving

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 pcs bone-on chicken ($1.20)
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 4 oz Marsala wine ($.40)
  • 4 oz stock or water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, small dice ($.19)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt
  • 2 cups short grain Italian rice – arborio and canaroli are the most commonly available types, check the bulk aisle of your grocery store, it may be cheaper there ($2)
  • 4 oz white wine ($.40)
  • 6 cups hot stock – chicken or vegetable
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 pcs Parmigiano Reggiano rind or 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese ($0, I’m lucky to get these free from work!)
  • 1 cup frozen peas ($.25)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced ($.10)
  • 1 oz or 2 Tbs butter ($.07)

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed pan.  Season the chicken pieces with the salt and pepper.  Sear the chicken until golden brown on both sides.  Add the Marsala wine and the stock or water, after the liquid has come to a boil, add the bay leaf and oregano.  Simmer covered for 20 minutes then simmer uncovered for another 20 minutes.  This time may vary depending on the size of chicken pieces you have, the goal is to braise the chicken covered until it is about 75 percent done then finish cooking the meat uncovered to reduce the sauce and concentrate the flavors.

While the chicken is simmering, begin the risotto.  Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onions and garlic.  Next, add in the rice and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the edges of the grains become opaque and the middle of the grains are still white.

Add in the white wine and let it be absorbed into the rice.  Begin adding in the stock a cup at at time, until the rice is tender.  You may need more or less than 6 cups, taste your rice along the way and you decide!  Add in the cheese rinds (if you have grated cheese instead, add it at the end.) and season with the salt and red pepper flakes.  When you rice is almost done, around the time of the last addition of stock, mix in the parsley, butter and peas.  Let the flavors meld for a few minutes and then you’re ready to make yourself up a plate, top it with a piece of chicken and a few spoonfuls of its yummy sauce and mangia!

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