Saturday, November 24, 2012

Big On Flavor Not On Looks

Yes I know, a hot chicken mess on a plate.
To be honest the adventure of not having an oven (well at least in the kitchen I use day to day) is losing it's charm. I had no idea how much I rely on it and now I have to think about our dinners in a whole new way.  I could have roasted this bird in the other oven, walking across the yard feeling like Martha Washington's household "help" trundling off to the summer kitchen carrying pots and pans. I just didn't want to (besides I was drying yesterday's tomato harvest in there). So I started to scratch my head for a stove top, not fried, one pot easy chicken dinner. 
I figured I'd start with bacon, pancetta to be exact since it is what I had in the fridge. I tossed chopped pancetta and onion in a dutch oven with butter and olive oil and then added in a few cloves of garlic. After a couple minutes I put in the seasoned chicken -- skin side down -- and a couple of cubed potatoes. My pan wasn't big enough for everything and so the chicken didn't get quite as brown and crispy as I would have liked. None the less I let the chicken cook for around 10 minutes and then added in about 1/4 cup white wine and the same measure of water. I brought the liquid up to a simmer and let the covered pan bubble away for another 15 minutes until the potatoes were tender and the chicken just cooked through. I served the bird, savory sauce, potatoes and all over fresh steamed green beans.
"This is better than our turkey," James said recalling our Thanksgiving dinner out and knowing just how to get my attention. Looks or not I might just try this dish again.

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