Tag Archives: chicken

Slow Cooked Chicken with White Beans, Bacon, and Rosemary Recipe

Today I’m going to share a dish I  made during my most recent cooking segment on Virginia This Morning. When the show’s producer asked me to share a hearty  comfort food recipe good for the cold weather we’re having, I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

Knowing most people had probably already gone through their rotation of favorite chili, soup, and stew recipes, I figured  they would be ready for something different to mix things up a little.

I made this casseulet style chicken and white bean dish, which is one of my family’s winter favorites.  It’s  is easy to make, and rich with the smoky flavor of bacon and hints of rosemary. This one-pot dish gets its start by browning some chicken thighs, then  adding  vegetables to develop their flavor, before simmering away in the oven with  Chicken broth and white wine.

Your house will smell amazing while it’s cooking, which to me is half of the enjoyment I get from comfort food. Add  some good crusty bread and a green salad, and you have a dinner your whole family will love. It’s also a great dish for casual entertaining. The cooking is done before your guests arrive, and the menu is easy on your pocket book too!

I’ve added the clip from the show, which shows me whipping it together in 4 minutes (phew!)

Slow Cooked Chicken with White Beans, Bacon, and Rosemary

2 tablespoons olive oil

6  chicken thigh pieces

6 ounces bacon, chopped

1 leek (white part only), cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 small carrot, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 bay leaf

6 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried Italian red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup dry white wine

3 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

4 cups low-salt chicken broth

1 6-inch-long fresh rosemary sprig plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook chicken until golden brown, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to large plate. Add bacon and next 6 ingredients to same pot. Cook until vegetables begin to brown and soften, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; stir 1 minute. Add tomato paste; stir 2 minutes. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Add wine and simmer 1 minute.  Add beans to pot; stir to combine. Add broth; season with salt and pepper. Place rosemary sprig and chicken atop bean mixture.

Transfer to oven; braise 30 minutes covered; remove lid and continue braising an additional hour uncovered.  Transfer chicken to plate. Season beans with salt and pepper.

Mix 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary, parsley, and lemon peel in small bowl. Divide beans among 4 shallow bowls. Top each with chicken. Sprinkle each with parsley mixture and serve.

4 servings


Throw More Dinner Parties: A New Year’s Resolution

What is your New Year’s resolution for 2011?

For many of you, it might be to  lose weight, exercise more, spend less money, or to quit a bad habit, like smoking.

But for one new mom  I met recently at one of my cooking classes, none of these popular resolutions are on her list.  She has a whole different kind of approach to the new year. Her resolution?

To throw more dinner parties for friends and family.

Hearing this brought me back my days of early motherhood, when I would fall asleep at 8:00pm, knowing our youngest would be up at 4:30am (for good)!

In those days I used to plan our family dinner around  the  number of pots, pans, and dishes that would be required to execute and clean up after  the meal was finished. A healthy dinner with minimal prep and cleanup was key with babies/toddlers underfoot.

And dinner parties?

Well, I would be lying if I said we entertained as much or in the same way that we did in our pre-children days. Though the frequency/style changed, I refused to give up something I enjoyed so much. Staying connected with friends and family is what keeps us all going, right? I was determined to a include a little adult time during such a busy phase of life (that now looking back on seems like a blur). Bidding farewell to the dinner party was not something I was willing to do.

How did I do it?

Caffeine, and lots of it. (Just kidding–well… kind of).

Here’s what really helped me out:

Don’t fall asleep during dessert : If you are preparing the whole meal yourself, be realistic. How much time do you have to prepare for your dinner party? Chances are, not a lot, so select a menu that you can pull together easily, and one that may be prepared ahead of time so that when your guests arrive you are free to socialize.


Job Share the menu Divvy up the courses between your  dinner guests–it won’t be as daunting!

Grandparents: The BEST babysitters ever. Though we did not have grandparents close by, I was envious of our friends who did. #1 the price is right, and #2 having the kids spend  a night at Grandma and Grandpa’s gives you the freedom of having the house to yourselves during your dinner party (the ultimate relaxation), and the opportunity to sleep in, avoiding  the 5am morning -after wake up…you know the one where the cutest alarm clock you know wakes you up by opening your eyelids for you?

Time it right If grandparents are not an option, and your children will be at home during your dinner party, hire a baby sitter and have a later start time. Have your babysitter arrive early, so that you can finish getting things ready and the sitter can get the  kids in bed by 7:30.  Have guests arrive after bedtime so that the sounds of crying babies from upstairs have passed , you are feeling relaxed, and your babysitter is there to listen to the baby monitor in case there are any wake ups. You have the night off!

Double Duty: Spending $8-$10 per hour for a babysitter is money well spent!  In addition to giving you helping hands with your children, your babysitter may also be willing to help with the dishes and cleanup. A wise investment.

Save the baby talk for the playground: Part of who you are is a parent, but you are also a spouse, sister, or friend. It is easy to get lost in that  parental role, but so important to embrace the other roles you play in life. Engage in dinner party conversation that doesn’t revolve solely about your kids….save that for the parties you have where kids are invited to come along.

So to all of you new moms (and dads) out there who enjoyed entertaining pre- parenthood, don’t think your dinner party days are finished!  You deserve a break now and then, and if cooking is something you have always enjoyed, then by all means, invite your friends and family over for a dinner party! Carve time out of your busy lives to stay connected with those you care about. You will be happy you did. And remember, in the blink of an eye those sleep deprived diaper changing days of baby and toddler hood will be over, and you will find yourself in the midst of planning a pre-teen/teen New Year’s Eve party wondering if THEY will ever be quiet and get to sleep so you can–a new kind of sleep deprivation–ha! (Yes, that’s what we have in store this year…)

So whether you are a new parent, or just looking for a terrific make ahead entree  to serve at your next winter dinner party, I have just the thing: my Caribbean inspired Chicken Fricassee.

The chicken in this stew is slow- cooked in a heady sauce brimming with the big flavors of garlic, ginger, spices and herbs. When I say make ahead, I mean Make ahead–up to 2 days ahead and gently reheated before serving. How is is that?

You will begin by browning seasoned chicken pieces that have been dredged in flour

Saute vegetables until softened

Then add spices, wine, stock, and seasonings. Cover and simmer until the chicken is fall apart tender.

So good…

Caribbean Inspired Chicken Fricassee

1/4 cup olive oil

2 chickens (preferably organic), 3-4 pounds each, cut into 20 pieces (4 wings, 4 legs, 4 thighs, 4 breasts, split; you can ask your butcher to do this)

Kosher salt and pepper

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 large red onion, finely chopped

2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and finely chopped

1 poblano pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped

6 cloves garlic, smashed

1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 jalapeno, halved lengthwise (seeds intact)

Pinch of ground allspice

2 cups dry white wine

4 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

4 tablespoons ketchup

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Heat a large Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat, then add the oil and lit it get nice and hot. Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper and dredge them in the flour. Working in batches of 3 or 4 pieces at a time, at the chicken to the hot oil and cook until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. As they are done, remove the chicken pieces from the pot and set aside on a plate. Spoon off and discard about half of the fat from the pot.

Add the onion, bell pepper, poblano, and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, jalapeno, allspice, and wine, bring to a simmer, and simmer until the wine is reduced by half, 6-7 minutes. Stir in the stock, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and ketchup, return the chicken to the pot, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 40-50 minutes, removing the lid to stir the sauce every 15 minutes.

Stir in the green onions, cilantro, parsley, and thyme. Taste and correct the seasoning. Stir in the butter. (The fricasee can be cooled and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. reheat gently before serving.)

Divide the stew among dinner plates or shallow bowls and serve with warm couscous or rice.

8 servings

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Fall Dinner Party for 8 For $50!


Pistachio Crusted Chicken Breasts with Coconut Curry Sauce

I just finished a week of cooking classes, which means I will not be doing a lot of cooking today…in fact, I probably definitely will not do any cooking  at all today.  I’m kinda pooped…instead, I think I would rather write about the food I cooked this past week , and share the recipe for the entree, and a few tips from class… if that’s okay with you. And tonight? I think we will be heading out for dinner (important to support our local restaurants, you know).

At first glance, the ingredients list may appear a bit long, and the procedure somewhat involved, but I promise it’s actually much easier than it may look ( I say this after hearing  “the entree is two pages long!” from some of my students).

On the menu this week:

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Breasts with Coconut Curry Sauce

I like all of the layers involved in this entree; you get to experience a little bit of everything.  Parmesan and crushed pistachios are mixed with fresh herbs to create a crisp, crust for the chicken, which sits atop a bed of multi grain angel hair pasta that is tossed with a mixture of sauteed vegetables and finished with a coconut curry sauce, infused with the essence of lemongrass and ginger root.

Here are a few plan ahead tips that will let you pull everything together easily:

2 days ahead: – Make the sauce

– Make the pistachio/cheese/herb mixture

8 hours ahead: -Prep vegetables

– cook pasta

4 hours ahead: – Place chicken in buttermilk

1 hour before your guests arrive:

-Prepare chicken through the step just prior to finishing in oven.

-Cook vegetables/pasta; reheat when ready to serve.

When your guests arrive, all you have to do is pop the chicken in the oven and slice when it’s done. Warm the sauce and pasta and you are all set.

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Breasts with Coconut Curry Sauce


1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 shallots, minced

2 blades lemongrass, chopped

3 (1/2-inch) piece, fresh ginger, thinly sliced

1 cup sweet white wine

2 cups chicken broth

2 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste

2 Tbsp. Chinese black bean chili sauce

1 (8-ounce) can coconut milk

½ cup (1stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pistachio-Crusted Chicken:
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 quart buttermilk
8 ounces salted shelled pistachios
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 large shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and julienned
1 pound asparagus, cleaned, blanched and julienned
1 cup julienned yellow squash
1 cup julienned zucchini squash
1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. sweet and sour sauce
¼ tsp. sriracha chile paste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained, and rinsed in cold water

For the sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the tablespoon of butter, the shallots, lemongrass, ginger slices and wine. Reduce to half. Add the broth, red curry paste and Chinese black bean chili sauce and reduce to half again. Add the coconut milk and reduce to half a third time. Remove from the heat and whisk the bits of butter into the sauce until all the butter has been incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. If you reheat, do not allow the sauce to boil or the butter will separate.

For the chicken: Cut the chicken breasts in half. With a meat mallet pound until ¼-inch thick and place in a nonreactive bowl. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken, cover, and let sit for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

In a food processor, place half of the pistachios, half of the Parmesan cheese, and half of the herbs. Pulse 5 or 6 times until the mixture is finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat this step with the rest of the pistachios and combine with the other pistachio mixture.

Preheat the oven to 250˚.

For the noodles:Heat  the canola oil in a preheated wok; add the julienned vegetables and sauté for 1 minute. Add the sweet and sour sauce, sriracha chile paste and cooked angel hair pasta; mixing well.  Continue to cook until the noodles are just hot and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the flour in another bowl and season it with salt and pepper. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat with a thin coating of canola oil. Remove one breast, shake off any excess buttermilk and dust the breast with flour on each side. Dip only one side of the chicken back in the buttermilk and press pistachios onto that side. Repeat that step with all of the chicken. Place the chicken in the sauté pan, pistachio side down, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. Place in the oven to finish cooking for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove, let rest for 5 minutes and then slice to serve with the Coconut-Chile-Ginger Sauce and the prepared noodles.

6 servings