Monday, May 20, 2013

Pollo Pepperazzi

Chicken and Peppers

Braising is magical! This cooking method, whether fast or slow always imparts terrific flavors. When roasting or grilling chicken parts and pieces I usually recommend leaving them as intact as possible and always end up with juicy results. But occasionally, and it’s always recipe dependent, I do like to separate the meat from the bone. Sometimes it’s purely esthetic, but in this case it is all about even cooking during our first few steps as we build up the layers of flavor that will contribute to the braising liquid.

And because the rest of the recipe is so simple, boning the chicken is an easy trade off. Don’t fret – we’re not going to let any of the flavor packed goodness from the bones and bits go to waste.

Like so many braised chicken recipes, this one is very simple and so very good!

Pollo Pepperazzi
Yield: 4 Servings     Preparation Time: 20 Minutes     Cooking Time: 50 Minutes


• 4 Bone-in, Skin-on Chicken Breast Halves, rinsed and patted dry
• Kosher Salt
• Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
• All-Purpose Flour, for dredging Chicken
• 6 Cloves Garlic, smashed
• 8 Pickled Cherry Peppers, cut in half and seeded
• 2 Sweet Red Peppers, seeded and cut stem to blossom end into 1” wide strips
• ½ Cup Dry White Wine
• 1½ Cups Chicken Stock
• 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
• 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

Preparation Steps

Step 1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Step 2. Cut Chicken meat from the bone, leaving the skin attached. Reserve the bones. Season everything with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper.

Step 3. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add Olive Oil.

Step 4. Dredge Chicken and the bones in the All-Purpose Flour and shake off excess. Add the Chicken to the pan, skin side down, together with the bones, and cook without disturbing for 5 minutes until browned. Reduce heat to medium, turn over and cook for another 5 minutes to brown the skinless side.

Step 5. Drop the smashed Garlic around and between the Chicken and cook, stirring to keep the Garlic from burning, for 1 minute.

Step 6. Add the halved Cherry Peppers and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the Wine and Stock stirring carefully to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, (the liquid should be between ½ and ¾ of the way up the sides of the Chicken). Return to heat and bring to a simmer then toss the Sweet Pepper slices on top of the Chicken. Sprinkle with Dried Oregano, cover and braise in the oven for 30 minutes.

Step 7. Transfer the Dutch oven to the stovetop, uncover and set over medium-high heat. Remove the Chicken and Peppers to a serving platter, dispose of the bones and bring the liquid to a simmer until reduced by ⅓. Whisk 2 tablespoons of Butter into the pan to smooth out and enrich the sauce.

Serve the Chicken on a bed of the braised Peppers with the sauce poured over the top. A nest of Angel Hair pasta dressed simply with some of its cooking water, Olive Oil, Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper is perfect alongside of the Chicken.

Tips and Trending

~ This dish should have a slight chili pepper kick but cherry peppers are about as low on the ScovilIe Scale as you can go, ranging only from 100 – 500 on the scale. So, if the cherry peppers you have are not very spicy, and you’d like to turn up the heat under this dish, add ⅛ teaspoon of red pepper flakes when you add the pickled peppers. You can also add some red pepper flakes to the jar of peppers to heat up any remaining peppers to your taste.

~ Dredge the chicken in the flour, shake off the excess and immediately put it in the hot oil. The flour is only meant to assist in browning and if it gets wet on the chicken before it goes in the pan, you’ll end up with a less than desirable moist and pasty mess.

~ The point of braising is to maintain a low level of liquid that cooks and flavors the contents of the pan but doesn’t drown and boil the food. Start with the liquid level between ½ and ¾ of the way up the sides of the meat. This way you’ll end up with enough liquid to reduce into a flavorful sauce.

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