Chicken Peperonata Cooking show

Chicken Peperonata

Talk about celebrity crush, here is mine: Giada De Laurentiis. I’m not sure if “crush” is the proper word, but you get what I mean. Not only I’m one of the millions of fans of her shows on Food Network, I’ve been using her cookbooks since Every Day Italian came out.

This recipe is adapted from Giada’s Italy, another book featuring many Italian inspired recipes great for the home-cook. In the book, she titled the recipe Crispy Chicken Thighs with Peppers and Capers.  She tells the story of her great-aunt Raffy, “who makes the most delicious peperonata” and inspired her to create this recipe. I thought it’s easier to just call it Chicken Peperonata.

Many food aristocrats consider chicken boring. Not me. I love chicken, and this recipe is Italian chicken glory! While white breast meat is 99 percent white fiber muscle and very healthy, dark meat carries more oxygen and myoglobin, which is the reason for the darker color, but it also carries more fat (but not that much) which is the reason it tastes better.

Like Giada, I like to make this recipe with chicken thighs, but if you prefer to use chicken breast, it will be just as wonderful. If you want to be even more productive and buy an entire chicken, go for it, and use every part. Save the bones for brodo and use all other parts of the chicken for this recipe.

Magic in the world of food often relies on the ingredients you have, so be sure to carefully choose nice kalamata olives (over canned), fresh bell peppers and capers in brine. The result is as incredible as any Italian restaurant can provide.

Another bonus of this recipe: it’s year-round-evergreen. When you close your eyes and imagine a table full of friends and family, picture this Chicken Peperonata in the middle of the table. It’s pure cooking, captivating your family with the power of cooking—and the recipes that you find right here at Chef Leticia.

 

Chicken Peperonata

Adapted from Giada’s Italy

Serves 4

 

¼ cup olive oil

4 chicken thighs (about 2 lbs)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 anchovy fillet or ½ teaspoon anchovy paste

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced into thin strips

1 shallot, diced small

½ cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup dry bread-crumbs

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

 

Pre-heat the oven to 425F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Dry the chicken very well with paper towels and season evenly on both sides with ¾ of teaspoon of kosher salt.  Place the thighs in the hot pan, skin-side down, and cook without moving for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the thighs and cook an additional 3 minutes. Transfer the thighs to a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160F.

While the chicken roasts, place the same pan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the anchovy and mash it with the back of a wooden spoon until it dissolves into the oil. Add the bell pepper and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt to the pan and cook, stirring often for 5 minutes, until cooked through and soft. Stir in the shallots and cook an additional minute. Add the olives, capers, and oregano to the pan and stir to combine.

Sprinkle the bread-crumbs over the pepper mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the bread crumbs have soaked up all the flavored oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bread-crumbs are toasted and the flavors have married, about another 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Spook the bread-crumb mixture onto a platter. Top with the chicken thighs and drizzle with any accumulated juices from the baking sheet.

 

More Chicken and Italian Recipes:

Chicken With Mushroom Sauce

Veal Scaloppine

Melon with Prosciutto Di Parma

Penne A la Vodka

 

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Chicken Brodo

Chicken Brodo

From braising to roasting, grilling, sautéing, or poaching, chicken is so universal and I just can get tired of it. In my house, we eat at least once a week, and I make chicken stock and chicken brodo from the bones every time a chicken is served. I have adapted this recipe to this situation- carcass from a chicken that was dinner.

I suggest creating a habit: every time you cook a chicken for dinner, don’t toss the bones out. Not even the bones that were in your husband’s or children’s plate. Make chicken brodo! Even a very small amount of bones, from 1 little bird, will yield about 2 cups of bordo. And with that small amount, it only takes 30 minutes to make brodo. Bird by bird, my freezer is stocked with chicken brodo.

And what is the difference between chicken stock and chicken brodo, you might ask? There is a very fine line between the two. Chicken brodo is chicken stock that has been seasoned and simmered longer than chicken stock. Chicken stock is used for cooking, brodo is used for drinking, like tea. But can you cook with chicken brodo? You can, just remember the brodo is already seasoned.

 

Chicken Brodo

Makes 3 to 4 cups

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 2 pounds of chicken bones from a rotisserie chicken

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

1 stalk of celery, cut into chunks

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 to 3 bay leaves

Kosher Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

 

  1. Remove excess fat from the bones. In a large stockpot, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bones, vegetables, and bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until bones are hot and vegetables are cooked about 20 minutes. Add enough cold water to cover the bones, about 1 inch above the amount of bones. Don’t add too much water, or the brodo will be watery and lacking flavor. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 30 to 45 minutes, skimming the foam occasionally.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the liquid. When the brodo has a rich, bright chicken flavor, remove the bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon and strain the stock, first through a medium strainer then through a fine-mesh strainer.
  3. Place the brodo over an ice bath then chill in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours – chilled is the best way to judge the quality of the liquid. The more gelatinous, the better. Carefully remove any fat that accumulates on the top and discard it. Divide the brodo into several small plastic containers, label them, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

 

 

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