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Whole Chicken for Winter Weekday Dinners


Chris Amirault
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Tonight, like many work nights, I'm already thinking about what I'm going to make for dinner with a lack of enthusiasm, for I have a whole chicken in the fridge. I usually spatchcock it and roast it in the oven with S&P, olive oil, and some herbs (the go to: I have a titanic rosemary bush in the dining room), just to cut down on the time. Tasty, but, due to repetition, a bit boring.

So I'm wondering about other, relatively quick recipes that can be made with typical larder ingredients. Stove top is fine, as is oven (though with the temperature in the single digits grilling is out). A solid braising liquid that creates its own sauce and can be served with an easy starch can offset the lack of crisp skin. Finally, I don't want to get out the food processor, mortar & pestle, or most other tools.

Ideas?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Chicken Frarej is what we're having tonight - it's been a favorite of ours since the recipe first appeared in the Dallas Morning News in 1988:

1 chicken, quartered

2 potatoes, cleaned and cut into large chunks

3 or 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch slices (we add more)

3 - 4 cloves of garlic

2 lemons

2 tomatoes, quartered (we omit these in the winter)

Preheat oven to 775 or 500 degrees if it will get that hot). Wash and dry chicken. Place in a large baking pan, season with salt and pepper, then add potatoes and carrots to the pan, drizzle all with olive oil. Rub oil in to coat. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until skin is golden brown and juices run clear.

Meanwhile, peel and mash garlic and place in a small bowl. Juice the two lemons, measure the juice then add an equal amount of olive oil and mix with the garlic, stirring well.

Add tomatoes to the pan (if using), and pour in the lemon juice-olive oil mixture, coating all the ingredients. Return the pan to the oven for 5 minutes to heat through. Serves 2-3.

The marinade is wonderful and with the pan juices, is excellent served over the roasted potatoes. The carrots caramelize - yum! We have added cauliflower in the past as well.

BTW - expect a smoky kitchen and a dirty oven in the end!

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I like the Marchegiano dish pollo in friccò

This more or less consists of one cut-up chicken which is browned in olive oil, then braised in white wine with fresh rosemary, garlic and juniper berries. The way I was taught to make it, you keep only a shallow layer of white wine boiling furiously over high heat, and replenish as necessary. When a bottle of wine is boiled away, the chicken is ready.

Here is a dish made using a similar technique, with black olives and thyme instead of rosemary and juniper:

i4013.jpg

Edited by slkinsey (log)

--

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Chris, I made this duck dish for Christmas dinner - it's a braise but it leaves the skin exposed and crispy. You could easily convert it to chicken (and just butcher your whole chicken at home). It can be made partly ahead, if so desired.

It was also super-tasty, BTW...obviously an important bit to note. :smile:

ETA: The Gourmet Cookbook has a slightly different version with leeks and carrots...

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Boy, on a cold night like we're having here, you could hardly beat Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic. And nothing's easier.

Cut your chicken up and brown it in olive oil and then throw it in dutch oven or some other lidded pot with a handful of fresh thyme, a thick pour of olive oil (should have recognizable depth) and 40 cloves of garlic. If you're feeling all fancy-pants you can chop up carrots and onions or rutabagas or whatever to taste and maybe even throw in a little wine or stock, but none of that is necessary.

Cover, seal with dough if you've a mind to, and throw it in a 325 degree oven for 45 minutes to two hours -- it's a very forgiving dish.

Serve with mashers or some polenta maybe. My daughter likes to make cornbread when we have it. Besides the chicken, there will be plenty of liquid in the bottom of the pot to spoon over your potatoes and it's mandatory to smoosh the garlic onto your bread.

I'm on the pavement

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If you've done a lot of roasting and frying, I'd try a nice poached chicken. After an hour in the poaching liquid (include some ginger and onions), debone and use the meat in a salad or other dish.

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You could make a delicious but not necessarily authentic curry...

-Quarter the chicken, brown it in a large saute pan or rondeaux (in oil/ghee/clarified butter). take the chicken out and set aside.

-add some more oil to the pan, and toss in your spices of choice (like cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, mustard, tumeric, etc.) cook in oil until fragrant.

-throw in a couple of chopped onions, cook a bit, then some chopped tomato (canned is fine)

-add a little stock (if you have it) and some heavy cream. deglaze anything stuck to the bottom of the pan. put the browned chicken back in and simmer gently til it's cooked through.

-(optional) take the chicken out, let it cool, and pull the meat off the bones with your fingers. throw the meat into the pot and turn up heat until the chicken is warmed through. also optional: finish with some garam masala.

Notes from the underbelly

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Arroz con Pollo or Chicken and Dumplings. I use the recipes from Cook's Illustrated. They are quick, easy and delicious - especially when it's cold outside. (I substitute a whole cut up chicken for the specific parts called for in the recipes, because folks in my house like different parts of the chicken).

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Take Busboy's suggestion of 40 clove garlic and add a cup of white wine. Cut the bird up and braise. The chicken will give off it's own juices for a great sauce. I usually pull out half of the garlic (which is skin on) and puree the remaining in the sauce to help thicken. Top the dish with the reserved cloves. Mighty fine dish and my entire family loves it.

Another great option is Poussin Chasseur. Below is the recipe I posted in another forum. Incredible flavor. Very rich and earthy. I've got a picture of the last time I made it somewhere. I'll try to post it.

gallery_22252_4789_62231.jpg

Poussin Chausser

(serves 4)

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 chicken cut up

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

1 tablespoon truffle butter (I used regular butter and threw in a little truffle oil)

1 onion, chopped

1 oz dried porcini

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons flour

8 ounces dry vermouth or dry white wine

2/3 cup duck and veal demi-glace (I used regular demi-glace and the porcini soaking liquid)

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes, drained (I used whole tomatoes squished up and drained really well)

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the poussin (chicken) with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until browned, turning, about 5 minutes in all. Remove. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan.

2. Add the butter to the pan and reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to moderately high. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are browned, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the vermouth/wine and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the demi-glace, tomatoes, thyme, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the poussin and any accumulated juices. Reduce the heat; simmer, covered, until the poussin is done, about 5 minutes. (since this recipe called for a different type of meat, I used my own judgement and simmered it close to an hour...pretty much like a braise). Stir in the parsley and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

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If you've done a lot of roasting and frying, I'd try a nice poached chicken.  After an hour in the poaching liquid (include some ginger and onions), debone and use the meat in a salad or other dish.

Enchiladas, I did this with leftover grilled chicken and it turned out great.

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Chris, do you have Into the Vietnamese Kitchen? If so, here are a couple of simple but good weeknight chicken meals.

Garlicky oven-roasted chicken. If possible, marinate chicken (dark meat best) for up to 24 hours.

Chicken and ginger simmered in caramel sauce. Use boneless chicken (again, dark meat is best) or debone your own. Quick and easy if you have a batch of caramel sauce on hand.

ETA: oops, ignore the second suggestion - I missed that you were looking for whole chicken recipes.

Edited by C. sapidus (log)
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Marinating just won't cut it, I'm afraid. I've gotta get home, cut the thing up, and get to cooking.

And if I can use up leftovers, all the better. Take tonight: sauteed the quartered chicken in olive oil, then added sliced onion and garlic. When they were just starting to brown, I added half of a mediocre bottle of red wine, half a box of Pomi strained tomatoes left over from trying out Steven's easy pizza method, a couple of tablespoons of capers, and a bit of minced fresh oregano. Brought it up to a hard simmer and added the chicken, covered, for about half an hour. Served over quick croutons (old durum stick sliced into 3/4" slices, olive oil, salt, roasted at 500F for a bit), roasted broccoli (olive oil, salt, lemon to finish), and a diced roasted half of squash in browned butter with white pepper and thyme.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I had just posted with my lame suggestion when I realized that all I had in the fridge (besides a fourth straight day of ham) was . . . chicken. So I made this:

Chicken Frarej is what we're having tonight - it's been a favorite of ours since the recipe first appeared in the Dallas Morning News in 1988:

1 chicken, quartered

2 potatoes, cleaned and cut into large chunks

3 or 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch slices (we add more)

3 - 4 cloves of garlic

2 lemons

2 tomatoes, quartered (we omit these in the winter)

. . . . .

I used four thighs instead of a cut-up whole, and for color, I added some blanched asparagus with the lemon. It was very tasty, and a loaf of crusty bread helped us sop up the pan juices. It was also gorgeous:

gallery_6393_149_37985.jpg

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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This may sound gross, but it is really simple and delicious. We put the whole chicken along with onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes and the seasoning of choice in the crock pot with no water. It is left on the low setting for the day or as little as 4-5 hours.

Moisture is generated from the ingredients during cooking and even the white meat is juicy and tasty.

The current issue of Cook's Illustrated has a similar recipe except that they don't use a crock pot, but a dutch oven placed in the regular oven. I thought their technique was overly fussy, you can just dump in the ingredients and go. A friend mentioned that they even start out with a frozen chicken (the Empire frozen ones that Costco carries.)

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Chef-boy taught me a great seasoning for chicken.

Lemons, onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and whole cloves.

Now he uses a couple of cloves. I use a coupla dozen because I do two chickens at once and because the cloves I can get are not near as strong as his. It makes a very pleasant and different wonderfully aromatic chicken. I use a crock pot like mhjoseph does.

But then did I read that salt toughens the meat? Or was it the pepper? Anyhow maybe save those for last.

And of course I de-grease, strain & boil the liquid way down and toss the deboned chicken in that wonderfully flavorful brew.

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You just spend your prep time deboning and packaging the chicken. From that you can do an easy chicken soup with store bought broth and rice w/tortilla chips & crackers, then chicken sandwiches with honey mustard & horseradish on some nice bread, then chicken salad w/ lots of lemon zest and apples with cream cheese on a croissant, then chicken salad on a green salad as the protein with some lovely dressing. Or a casserole w/ artichokes and cheesey sauce.

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A favorite here is out of Michael Field's Cooking School. One cut-up chicken and 15 or 20 whole shallots, peeled. Brown the chicken, remove, brown shallots, return chicken to pan, cover pan and let cook at a bare burble until the chicken is done. Perfumes the house beautifully.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I had just posted with my lame suggestion when I realized that all I had in the fridge (besides a fourth straight day of ham) was  . . . chicken. So I made this:
Chicken Frarej is what we're having tonight - it's been a favorite of ours since the recipe first appeared in the Dallas Morning News in 1988:

1 chicken, quartered

2 potatoes, cleaned and cut into large chunks

3 or 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch slices (we add more)

3 - 4 cloves of garlic

2 lemons

2 tomatoes, quartered (we omit these in the winter)

. . . . .

I used four thighs instead of a cut-up whole, and for color, I added some blanched asparagus with the lemon. It was very tasty, and a loaf of crusty bread helped us sop up the pan juices. It was also gorgeous:

gallery_6393_149_37985.jpg

That looks delicious! We too used all thighs since that's what I had in the freezer. I have never added asparagus, but will try that since I love oven roasted asparagus.

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A favorite here is out of Michael Field's Cooking School.  One cut-up chicken and 15 or 20 whole shallots, peeled.  Brown the chicken, remove, brown shallots, return chicken to pan, cover pan and let cook at a bare burble until the chicken is done.  Perfumes the house beautifully.

What sort of liquid are you using in the pan to contribute to the "burble"?

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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I saw a tip here for keeping fresh ginger in a jar full of sherry. I don't care for the ginger itself, because it tuns soft and won't grate on the microplane, but the sherry is wonderful with chicken.

I cut up a chicken, brown it, throw in as many garlic cloves as I feel like peeling, pour half a cup or so of the sherry in, add a teaspoon or more of chili paste, a tablespoon of soy, and a couple tablespoons of maple syrup.

Cook til the chicken is done, and reduce or thicken the sauce if you need to.

sparrowgrass
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Don't forget paprika chicken!

Here's Rachel Perlow's take on it: <clickety> from the "Paprika: Confessions of an Addict" topic - which, I might add, is about due for a revival. Further on in the thread are other takes on it - including my version, in which the joys of paprika were fully appreciated for the first time.

Taking it in a completely different direction: what about a tamarind glaze on that chicken skin as it's roasting?

Edited to correct an attribution.

Edited by Smithy (log)

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A favorite here is out of Michael Field's Cooking School.  One cut-up chicken and 15 or 20 whole shallots, peeled.  Brown the chicken, remove, brown shallots, return chicken to pan, cover pan and let cook at a bare burble until the chicken is done.  Perfumes the house beautifully.

What sort of liquid are you using in the pan to contribute to the "burble"?

No liquid necessary, believe it or not. The shallots must release the liquid? Once you add the chicken, just stick on the lid and put the heat on low, low, low.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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A favorite here is out of Michael Field's Cooking School.  One cut-up chicken and 15 or 20 whole shallots, peeled.  Brown the chicken, remove, brown shallots, return chicken to pan, cover pan and let cook at a bare burble until the chicken is done.  Perfumes the house beautifully.

What sort of liquid are you using in the pan to contribute to the "burble"?

No liquid necessary, believe it or not. The shallots must release the liquid? Once you add the chicken, just stick on the lid and put the heat on low, low, low.

How long does it take on average, Susan?

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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