Friday, September 10, 2010

Zesty Carminized Chicken Scarpariello

 I was craving something Italian that was on the lighter side.  That meant that there would be no cheese or pasta.  I flipped through a cookbook book called Carmine's and found the recipe for this chicken.  The two step cooking process keeps the chicken from being dry and it has a slightly sticky, garlicky coating.  I know "garlicky" does not sound like a real word, but trust me, it is. You will understand this word more once you have tasted the chicken-it calls for 4 tablespoons of minced garlic.

The recipe states that it is for 2-3 people, but the two eating here had leftovers for another dinner.  Also, it starts with a marinade, so you will need to begin 24 hours prior to cooking.

Chicken Scarpariello
adapted from Carmine's Family Style Cookbook

One cut up chicken, weighing about 3 1/2 lbs
1 tbs kosher salt
2 tsp each of chopped herbs as follows: sage, rosemary, oregano.
black pepper
3 lemons
1 cup of vegetable oil
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 tbs finely chopped shallots
4 tbs minced garlic
1/4 cup white wine
lemon wedges for garnish

Day before:
In a large zip lock bag, mix salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon each of sage, rosemary and oregano.  The remaining tablespoons of the 3  herbs may be mixed together and set aside for later use. Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons and pour in bag with herbs.  Then add your chicken pieces and seal the bag while keeping out excess air.  Once sealed, your bag should be flat except for where the chicken is. Then flip the bag over several times and move chicken pieces around in bag so all is coated.  Fold over bag and place in fridge to marinate for 24 hours.  During the 24 hr period flip the bag every so often so chicken can fully soak in marinade.  I turned about once every 4 hours, outside of my sleep time of course.

Next Day:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and prepare a roasting pan for your chicken.  I prepare my pan by lining it with foil and spraying the foil with olive oil.  This will keep your pan from being difficult to clean after the meal.

Now you will need to saute your chicken in a pan.  To control the heat, I used an electric skillet on 350 degrees but you can saute on the stove top using medium temperature.  Put the vegetable oil in your pan and wait for it to get hot or start to smoke.  Then remove your chicken from the marinade, patting off excess liquids with a paper towel.  Add your chicken to the pan, placing carefully.  You will leave the chicken to cook 5-8 minutes without moving it, giving it time to get golden brown.  Then turn the pieces over, again cooking without moving another 5-8 minutes.  Most of my chicken did not stick after 8 minutes, so it was able to be turned without losing the golden crust.  You do not want it to burn, but you want to give it enough time so it will not stick either.  Continue to cook the chicken another 5-10 minutes so all sides are browned.

Then transfer chicken to your roasting pan and put it in the oven for another 15-20 minutes until it is cooked through.

While the chicken is baking, you need to prepare the glaze.  You can either clean the original saute pan or pull out another one.  If you use another pan, just make sure it can hold all of the chicken.  On medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter in pan.  Add the remaining herbs (rosemary oregano and sage) along with the garlic and shallots.  Cook the mixture for about 3 minutes until the garlic and shallots start to brown.

Add the wine and increase the heat.  Take a wooden spoon to mix and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it.  Cook the mixture until most of the wine evaporates, which should take about 2 minutes.  Then stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter.  After that, you will season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Lastly, you will finalize the mixture by squeezing in the juice of the remaining lemon.  The book called the recipe a sauce, but mine had more the consistency of a pesto. That difference did not seem to affect the end result.

Anyhow, toss your chicken back into the saute pan, making sure the herb mixture is evenly distributed.  Serve on platter garnished with lemon wedges. 
This can be served with Cesear salad and crusty Italian bread.  Also, if you are looking for an appetizer,you might try this with just using chicken wings.