Monday, September 19, 2011

Pan-Sauteed Rosemary Chicken with Caramelized Onions & Carrots

Please pardon anything too off the wall today. I'm on a Nyquil-Dayquil bender and I'm just trying to do something productive during the two hours a day I'm awake. I attempted to work a half day but after five minutes on the phone with my co-worker trying to explain why I couldn't plug my monitor in and he spent another five minutes explaining yes, it would work, I just had to turn the plug over, I decided that maybe I should just go back to bed. So I did. 

I originally posted this as just a link but now that I've made this recipe, I wanted to repost the blog as a whole so that you don't miss any of Eva's awesomeness. Background about Eva; she was born in Italy and her mom cooks the most amazing food and she's taken after her. And she looks like a supermodel but I promise you won't be able to hate her for that after you've tasted this chicken. 

Here's her original post from her blog, Layla Lounge, named after her puppy. I've added in my own notes and pictures after the recipe and even a recipe for the salad I made to go along with it. Do yourself a favor and make this dish to impress someone you love!

How to get your husband home from a softball game

You make good chicken, send him a picture with the quote...

"It's getting cold honey!!"
So easy you can't mess it up. Only five (5) ingredients: chicken, extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 sweet onion, one (1) carrot and three branches of fresh rosemary.

So this is how I started this delicious meal: I got home from work at the same time my husband was leaving for his Thursday softball game with the boys. I had chicken in the fridge ready for cooking so I stayed home.  I started by grabbing my handy kitchen scissors and headed outside in the rain soaked back yard. My sliding glass door has not been opened for at least a couple of weeks because of the monsoon we've been having. I slide the door open and a fluorescent green spider jumps out of nowhere to pulls a Charlotte, and at eye level, waves all it's eight little hands and says hi. If you know me and spiders then you know my reaction. All at the same time, my right leg gets knocked over from under me an my dog is in the yard. DAMN IT! 

One arachnoid murder, two large muddy holes, a back yard game of catch me if you can and a dog with digested mouthfuls of dirt; I resort to my secret weapon. One large, thick, juicy, fresh deli turkey slice. She knew why it was there and she was not ready to come in. I placed it on the floor inside my kitchen and got behind her. Paranoid and panting, Layla couldn't stand it anymore, she inched closer and I finally cornered her. I pushed her in and shut the door behind her.

OK, so... Back to the first ingredient: I used my scissors to get three branches of fresh rosemary.
And OOOoooo look at what this rain is doing to my basil!!  I kept looking back and forth thinking, basil or rosemary, basil or rosemary. I stuck to the plan.

The rest is easy. I used chicken thighs because dark meat has so much flavour and the skin keeps the meat juicy while is cooks. I cut up 1/4 of a large sweet onion in slices (about 1/8 inch thick, if cut thinner they burn too easy), and did the same with the carrot. I sauteed them in a two inch thick pan with extra virgin olive oil. I never measure so just put enough to cover the bottom but not so much that they are swimming. They'll never cook that way.

My secret about sauteing onions is that you really can't walk away. Just stir occasionally so they don't burn or stick. The onions are ready when they begin to smell delicious and become translucent and soft. I placed the burner on a little higher than medium for the whole recipe. The carrots are really easy to cook, if you just pay attention to the onions, the carrots will be ready at the same time. Then take all the leafs off the rosemary branches and add to the mix, sprinkle a little salt and fresh grated pepper on the chicken and place them skin down atop the mixture.

Now you can walk away. For just a little bit. Pour a second glass of wine... If you're reading this blog, I know I didn't have to tell you to pour the first one. I on the other hand, didn't plan this, so I took a sip of my soda.

Don't touch the chicken until the skin is a nice golden crunchy brown. At that point the chicken is half cooked. You can peek to check for the color but don't turn until ready. You'll know it's ready when the chicken is not sticking anymore. Then when it's ready to turn, you'll want to stay by the stove and turn it often so you keep the chicken nice and tender. I kept on moving the mixture under the cooking chicken. And voila' chicken is done!!

If you don't have a favorite go to side item I have two suggestions. This easy, breezy, chicken recipe is paired really well with sweet potato fries or a simple veggie mix.

 - Sweet potato fries: cut one potato per person into strips. Sweet potatoes are really hard so use a really good knife. If you don't have a really good knife; go to the store, buy two, keep one and bring me the other. I don't have one either! Place the sweet potato strips on a metal cooking sheet with chipolte seasoning, pepper, salt, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and roll them around to spread the mix. Don't use wax paper, save the wax trees. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 420 or till Crispy:) YUMMMM!!!!!!!!!!! You can even pan fry these if you want, but they will smoke up your house so I don't recommend it.

- Veggie mix: in a medium pot mix frozen pearl onions (every time I see one cooked I think of Donald Duck's butt in the Three Caballeros), peas and veggie medley (corn, peas, green beans...) pinch of salt, a little extra virgin olive oil and cover with filtered water. Start cooking this first before the chicken. Cook at a little above medium with no cover, by the time the chicken is done this should be ready to eat also. Make sure the water does evaporate completely while cooking. You can add more water but do allow to evaporate by serving time. If you are not scrunched for time, you can start this recipe by sauteing some sweet onions in extra virgin olive oil then add the ingredients listed above and cook at a lower setting for about 1 1/2 hours. You might need a little more wine if you cook it this way.

Then 5 minutes before sitting down to eat, take picture, text to hubby and wait. He'll be home in a Jiffy:)
(Then take picture post on facebook and get requests for recipe:)

Enjoy Girls!!! Let me know how it comes out!!!

Notes from Anna:

Since this was my first time making the recipe, I thought I'd add in a few pieces of advice that I found out as I went along:

~ My carrots were small so I used two of them but once I was finished, I wished I'd used four since they were soooooo gooooood! And I usually avoid cooked carrots like ebola. And you can see from my pic that the pan wasn't crowded so I could have fit in four.

~ I used red onion because I needed red onion for the salad recipe and it turned out great.

~ Use chicken thighs with the bones still in. This will take a little longer to cook (about 20 - 25 minutes) and it'll be hard not to gnaw the pink flesh from the bones once the chicken is about halfway done, but hold out, it'll be worth it!

~ I added in a little more EVOO before adding in the chicken but the chicken skin will produce a lot of fat so I ended up with too much. So don't do that. Also, the chicken takes so long to cook that you don't have to cook the onion and carrot that much before adding in the chicken because there will be plenty of time for it all to cook together.

Once we started eating this, Bobby said this was a real treat, which is sad in a way since eating chicken and a salad probably shouldn't be considered a treat but I agreed that this particular chicken was exceptional and definitely company-worthy. Since I don't usually make rice or potatoes with dinner, I made this salad to go with it instead (recipe from Publix) and it was PERFECT together. But this makes enough salad for four so it's a LOT of salad. Here's the recipe:

Chickpea Artichoke Salad

1/2 can canned quartered artichokes, chopped
1/2 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and coarsely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 bag arugula leaves (4-5 oz)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil (I only used 1/4 cup because I don't like that much oil)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh pepper

Combine first 4 ingredients. Whisk last 4 ingredients together and mix with salad mixture. Let sit in refrigerator while chicken is cooking so the flavors can meld. Enjoy!!!

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