Last night, I made Poulet Saute (p. 254) and Tomatoes a la Provencale (p. 507) again. But I love those, so I really do make them all the time. So good. So easy.
Yes, yes. So I cooked this stuff after I got home from picking up my fresh food from the Monroe County Farmers Market. Where Jamie Oliver's camera crew was, but not Jamie Oliver. I was disappointed. I even went home at lunchtime to get my cookbook for him to autograph. (That's two celebrity chefs I've missed out on meeting, but that's another story). But I didn't care about getting interviewed for the show. It was too hot and I was wearing cashmere. Poor wardrobe choice for mid-August, I know.
Anyway, the chicken was wonderful. It tasted like it was made out of butter. Probably because of the gratuitous amounts of butter called for, but whatever. And the recipe says you can throw some "green herbs" in the sauce to finish it. My mom gave me a bunch of herbs she had, and the sage looked like it would go bad the soonest, so that's what I used. Besides, sage is a natural match for poultry.
2 1/2 to 3 lbs. cut up chicken
2 Tb butter and 1 Tb oil
Dry each piece of chicken thoroughly. Place a heavy casserole or skillet in over moderately high heat with the butter and oil. When the butter foam has almost subsided, add the chicken pieces skin-side down, as many as will fit in one layer. In 2 - 3 minutes, when the chicken has browned to a nice golden color on one side, turn it to brown on the other side. Regulate heat so that it is always hot but not burning.
Salt and pepper
Optional: 1 to 2 tsp fresh green herbs
2 - 3 Tb butter, if necessary
Season the dark meat with salt, pepper and optional herbs. (The wings and breasts are done later, as they cook faster.) If the browning fat burns, pour it out and add fresh butter. Place over moderate heat. Add dark meats, cover the casserole and cook slowly for 8 to 9 minutes.
Season the white meat, add it to the dark meat, and baste the chicken with the butter in the skillet. Cover and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, turning and basting the chicken 2 or 3 times. The meat is done when the fattest part of the drumstick is tender if pinched and the juices run clear or yellow when the meat is pricked deeply with a fork. Remove the chicken to a hot serving platter. Cover and keep warm.
1 Tb minced shallot or green onion
Optional: 1/2 cup of dry white wine or 1/3 cup of dry vermouth
3/4 to 1 cup of brown chicken stock, canned beef bouillon or canned chicken broth
1 to 2 Tb softened butter
1 to 2 Tb minced green herbs
Remove all but about 2 or 3 tablesppons of fat from the skillet. Add the shallots and cook slowly for 1 minute. Pour in the optional wine and the stock. Raise heat and boil rapidly, scraping up the coagulated saute juices and reducing the liquid to abotu 1/3 cup. Correct seasonings. Off heat and just before serving, swirl in the enrichment of butter and optional herbs.
On a side note, I thought the reason Jamie Oliver's camera crew was at the pick-up was for an American version of "The Naked Chef." No. He is hosting the reality show about how Huntington is the fattest city in America. That is what the filming was for. How fat we West Virginians are. Nice. As I always am, I'll be curious to see how West Virginia is portrayed. At least when I was there yesterday, they weren't interviewing the stupidest people they could find. The girl they interviewed was cute and seemed smart. Maybe it won't be all bad, after all.