Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chicken Scarpariello - Amazing!

It's not very often that I want to put a dish into my regular rotation after making it just once.  I'm making an exception for this dish.  It was fantastic!  The peppers had just the right amount of kick and the addition of a little lemon juice made it perfect.  The garlic cooked long enough in the pan to soften and taste like roasted garlic. The rosemary blended nicely with the rest of the sauce and made it feel more rustic.  The sauce had just the right consistency: not too watery, not too thick.  The chicken was juicy.  There was relatively little chopping.  I wouldn't call this a quick dish but it didn't take forever either.  It's totally doable on a work night.

As you can see, I had bad aim with the sauce. 

I tweaked the recipe a little.  I was originally going to halve the recipe but instead decided to halve the chicken and make a full recipe of everything else.  For the sauce, I used about 1 1/4 cups of chicken stock instead of 2 cups.  I think this was the right choice because I wanted to make sure the sauce wasn't watery.  I think these are good tweaks to make the dish more flavorful.  I served it with a super quick salad (yay lettuce in a box!) but it would go well over pasta.  Or as the recipe suggests, with some nice crusty bread.

In addition to turning the chicken over at the very end to coat it with sauce, I also spooned the sauce over the chicken pieces during the last three minutes of cooking to help keep the chicken moist after it had been sitting out.

Chicken Scarpariello
Adapted from Food and Wine
Serves 2

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into about a dozen large chunks (cut each breast into ~6 pieces)
Salt and pepper
some all purpose flour for dusting
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled, halved lengthwise, and lightly crushed (I used the flat side of a knife and pounded them a little)
4 large rosemary sprigs, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 1/4 cups unsalted chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth (keep the container out in case you want more)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup peppadew peppers or other pickled peppers

1) Heat the olive oil in a pan.  While the oil is heating, season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Then dust them lightly with flour.  Cook the chicken over high heat until browned and crusty, about 5 minutes each side.
2) Add garlic and rosemary and cook for another 3 minutes, until the garlic is lightly browned
3) Remove the chicken and put it on a plate, leaving the rosemary and garlic in the pan.
4) Add the stock to the pan and allow it to reduce by half, about 5 minutes (but keep an eye on it). Make sure to scrape up all the brown bits!  Then add the lemon juice and butter and stir until well mixed.
5) Return the chicken to the pan and add the peppers.  Cook, turning the chicken over in the sauce or spooning the sauce over the chicken, for about 3 minutes.  Then serve.

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