Martha Stewart Living (December 2009)
We're not doing a lot of cooking right now.
Maybe it's the winter doldrums. Or perhaps we're just uninspired at the moment. But most of the cooking we've done since the holidays has been the throw-it-in-a-pan-pop-it-in-the-oven-and-wait-for-the-buzzer variety.
Sure, we have plans (we're especially eyeing that Austrian feast from the January Bon Appétit), but we're working up to them.
What we are cooking at the moment is simple, straightforward fare that requires little work.
Well hello, Vinegar Glossed Chicken.
If you consume many products from the Martha Stewart empire, Lucinda Scala Quinn is a recognizable face. As a food director for the company, she often pops up in Martha Stewart Living, Everyday Food, and on the excellent Everyday Food television series on PBS.
Scala Quinn's new cookbook, Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys, is a collection of recipes she developed preparing meals for her husband and three sons. We haven't yet picked up the cookbook, but Martha Stewart Living features six recipes from the book and they all look mouth-wateringly delicious.
On a recent Sunday night, we skipped our near-weekly Roast Chicken meal to try Vinegar Glossed Chicken, which Scala Quinn has been making for more than twenty years.
Though the dish is not quite as easy as roast chicken, it only takes slightly more work and far less time. The chicken pieces are seared, simmered in chicken broth, and then glazed with a combination of red-wine vinegar, garlic and rosemary. The vinegary glaze transforms what would otherwise be just another chicken dish into a tangy and delicious affair.
We served the chicken on top of a Creamy Polenta and paired it with roasted vegetables from the same article. In our case, we used carrots, beets and shallots (Scala Quinn suggests adding cremini mushrooms, but we didn't have any on hand). Both the polenta and vegetables were perfect pairs for the chicken.
Roast Chicken hasn't quite yet been knocked out of regular rotation, but it is going to have to make room more often for Vinegar Glossed Chicken. We look forward to checking out more recipes from Scala Quinn's book.
Do you have a copy of Mad Hungry? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Purchase Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup best-quality red-wine vinegar
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (about 1 tablespoon minced)
5 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (each part should be cut in half)
Course salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth, plus more as needed
1. At least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours before cooking, combine the vinegar, garlic and rosemary to marinate.
2. Thoroughly season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat a 14-inch skillet (or two smaller skillets) over high heat and swirl in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Place the chicken in the skillet skin side down. Don't crowd the chicken; leave space around each piece. Work in batches if necessary. You should hear an immediate sizzle when the chicken pieces hit the pan. Don't move them; it takes a couple of minutes to sear the chicken so it doesn't stick. Brown all sides; this will take 10 minutes per batch. Regulate the heat so it stays high but does not burn the chicken. Place all the browned chicken back in the skillet.
3. Add the chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat, simmer and reduce for 15 to 20 minutes. Increase the heat to high and pour in the vinegar mixture. Swirl the pan and stir around as the vinegar evaporates to form a simmering glaze, 8 to 10 minutes. Service immediately or refrigerate, and reheat with some extra broth.
Serves 5 and then some
1 bunch of small carrots, peeled
4 medium beets, cleaned, trimmed and quartered
8 ounches cremini mushrooms, trimmed and wiped clean, larges ones halved
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse salt
Coursely ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place each type of vegetable in its own area on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over all the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Roast until the vegetables are tender and lightly caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes. Test each type of vegetable for doness. Arrange on a platter.