Herbs and Spices

Chicken Scarpariello
By Lidia Bastianich

Monday, August 9, 2010
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Makes 6 servings

Ingredients
2 small broiler chickens (about 2 ½ pounds each and preferably free-range)
Freshly ground pepper
¼ cup olive oil
½ pound sweet Italian sausage (preferably without fennel seeds) cut into 1-inch pieces
10 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
4 pickled cherry peppers, cut in half and stemmed
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Salt

Directions
Cut each chicken into 12 pieces. Wash and pat the chicken pieces dry, then season them generously with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 475F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add as many pieces of chicken, skin side down and starting with the leg, thigh and wing pieces, to the skillet as fit without touching. Cook the chicken, turning as necessary, until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.

Remove the chicken pieces as they brown and drain them briefly on paper towels. Place the drained chicken pieces in a roasting pan large enough to hold all of them in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil to the pan as necessary and adjusting the heat to prevent the bits that stick to the pan from overbrowning. As room becomes available in the skillet after all the chicken has been added, tuck in pieces of sausage and cook, turning until browned on all sides.

Remove all chicken and sausage from the pan, add the garlic and cook until golden, being careful not to burn it. Scatter the cherry peppers into the skillet, season with salt and pepper and stir for a minute. Pour in the vinegar and bring to boil, scraping the browned bits that stick to the skillet into the liquid and cook until the vinegar is reduced by half. Add the white wine, bring to a boil and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the roasting pan and stir to coat. Place the chicken in the oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and sticky, like molasses, about 10 minutes. If the sauce is still too thin, place the roasting pan directly over medium-high heat on the stovetop and cook, stirring, until it is reduced, about a minute or two. Once the sauce is thickened, toss in parsley and serve.
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Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44.

Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad with Tomato and Black Bean Salsa

By Susie Middleton   |   Friday, April 20, 2012
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spicy red beans

Looking for a quick dinner that's heavy on the veggies and light on the meat? The spicy salsa makes this salad so filling, you won’t even notice the smaller portion of chicken. In this mix, it's just right.

Serves six

Ingredients.

1 boneless skinless chicken breast half (6 to 7 oz.), trimmed
1/2 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. light or dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Kosher salt
6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for the grill
2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
2 tsp. honey
Freshly ground black pepper
Green Tabasco (optional)
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
4 oz. small cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered or halved (about 3/4 cup)
1 large scallion, thinly sliced
2 small heads Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (about 9 cups)
1 medium firm-ripe avocado
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or pepitas

Directions:

Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire.

Trim and then butterfly the chicken breast by slicing it horizontally almost but not entirely in half so you can open it like a book.

Combine the chili powder, brown sugar, coriander, cumin, and 3/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Rub some of the spice mix over both sides of the butterflied chicken breast (you won’t need it all) and let sit while the grill heats.

Clean and oil the grill grate. Grill the breast until the edges of the top side are white, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until just done, 1 to 2 minutes more. Let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

In a small bowl or a glass jar with a tight lid, combine the olive oil, lime juice, 1?Tbs. of the cilantro, the honey, 1/2 tsp. salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a few shakes of green Tabasco (if using). Whisk or shake well to combine.

Combine the black beans, tomatoes, scallion, the remaining 2 tsp. cilantro, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Add 2 Tbs. of the dressing and toss gently.

Put the lettuce in a bowl, season with a little salt, and toss with just enough of the dressing to lightly coat. (Reserve a little to drizzle on the chicken.) Arrange the lettuce on a platter or four dinner plates. Slice the chicken breast very thinly. Pit and slice the avocado. Arrange the chicken, avocado, and salsa on the lettuce. Drizzle a little of the remaining dressing over the chicken and avocado. Garnish with the pine nuts or pepitas and the cilantro leaves.

Nutrition information (per serving):

Calories (kcal): 470; Fat (g): 33; Fat Calories (kcal): 290; Saturated Fat (g): 5; Protein (g): 18; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 21; Carbohydrates (g): 28; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5; Sodium (mg): 510; Cholesterol (mg): 25; Fiber (g): 9;

Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.

Herbs
By Lidia Bastianich

Monday, August 9, 2010
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Wake up and smell the herbs!

Herbs are one of the quickest and healthiest ways to impart flavor to any dish. They release their fresh flavor when cooked in a dish and then help to reinforce that flavor when added to a dish.

Don’t be afraid to use herbs during cooking or as a way to finish any dish, and if you have any herbs left over, here is a great tip that I also share in my cookbook, Lidia’s Family Table. It will allow you to keep your herbs fresh and usable all year long.

—Divide the fresh herbs in an ice cube trays with deep cubicles.

—Pour cold water to cover the herbs and put in the freezer to freeze.

—The herbs and their flavors will remain embedded in the ice and great for plopping into any drink, or perking up any sauce or soup!

—You now have cubed your herbs for year round use!

To keep these herb “rocks” fresh all year long, seal them in a plastic storage bag and keep them in the freezer.
___________________________________________________________
Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44."

About the Author
Susie Middleton Susie Middleton
Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine and the author of veggie cookbooks Fast, Fresh & Green and The Fresh & Green Table.

Follow her on Twitter at @sixburnersue

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