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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You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook.

I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

Visit my YouTube Chanel @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz

 

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Green Goddess Sandwich

Green Goddess Sandwich

This Green Goddess Sandwich is featured in one of the photos I supplied for Best Leftovers Ever, a new competition show on Netflix in which I participate. You can catch me on episode 8, called Bland to Flavor Bombe. In the first few moments of the episode, I talk a little bit about cooking for my kids and how we incorporate leftovers all the time. (No, I don’t make this sandiwch on the show.)

Zero food waste is the name of the game. It’s the theme of the show, it’s the idea of this sandwich, and it’s something I practice every single day in my house.

Inspired by a recipe from Bon Appetit, this sandwich proves that the secret to creating delicious meals, even in the winter, is to be creative with the simple things. Especially this time of the year, when I’m indoors a lot, I want to feel really good about what I put inside my body.

(Speaking of Bon Appetit, a magazine I LOVE to cook from, check out the recent article I wrote for them about Brigadeiros.)

Every ingredient has a variable opportunity. While I love to use Mozzarella cheese, many other types of cheeses go well in the sandwich: Minas cheese (from Brazil), for sure, Feta cheese, or goat cheese. Arugula can be substituted for fresh spinach, fresh basil or green lettuce. The multi-grain bread is my favorite option, but if white bread is what you have in the fridge, go for it.

The Green Goddess spread is a beauty. It’s a sauce, it’s a spread, it’s a dip. It’s one of the most versatile sauces invented in recent times; the taste is fresh and sharp. Keep the recipe and use it as salad dressing as well.

Ready to start cooking in 2021? Ready to incorporate leftovers and turn them into incredible meals? Give yourself an ultimatum. No more take out dinners. No more junk food. Start cooking today! Your health is altogether the effect of your own choices.

 

Green Goddess Sandwich

Makes 2

 

For the Spread:

¼ cup basil

½ cup parsley

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

 

For the Sandwich:

4 slices multigrain bread

¼ English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 avocado, thinly sliced

8 oz mozzarella, sliced ¼-inch thick

2 cups arugula

 

  • Make the Green Goddess Spread: Place the basil, parsley, mayonnaise, yogurt, and lemon in a blender. Add the olive oil in a steady stream. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the cucumber in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let it drain for at least 20 minutes, until it becomes crunchy. Toss with olive oil.
  • Spread one side of each slice of bread with the Green goddess spread. Divide avocado between 2 slices of bread. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cucumbers, mozzarella, arugula, and close the sandwich.

 

 

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See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

 

 

Onion Soup

Onion Soup At Home

Talk about iconic French foods and Onion Soup will surely come to mind at top of the list. It just happens that it’s also one of my favorite foods. I can’t make enough of it. And the more I make it, the more I love it.

On a trip to France, I ate plenty of onions soups, and it’s always a special thing to eat typical food in its birth places.

Onion Soup

That’s me, in Paris.

But I have to say, there is nothing about this soup that cannot be replicated exactly at home. I’ve been making onion soup for so long in my home kitchen that I think I’ve mastered the recipe. Specially now, as this pandemic seems unending, traveling to France via the stove is the secret to life!

As simple as this soup may be, there are a few variables that impact on the results. First, the onions. You want to be patient and let the onions caramelize low and slow so that it flavors the soup — I talk about that in the recipe procedure, you will see.

Another important component is the liquid. Of course, you can use store-bought broth, but if you have the chance to make chicken broth, or buy the frozen version of brodo, (you can find plenty options nowadays), your soup will take you straight to France, in one quick shot. Bien sur!

The bread: any country bread will do, but if you have the chance to use a baguette, because of its thin shape, it will fit better in the soup bowl.

The cheese: my favorite for this soup is Gruyere, but Comte or any Alpine cow’s milk cheese will do.

The soup bowl: I have a couple of options at home, but the white soup bowl always wins.

Onion Soup

Soup bowls

Sometimes, I have the colossal courage to turn down the bread and cheese. It’s a way I have developed an appreciation for healthy eating defending my physical condition in the kitchen. Other times, my tolerance for fatty foods in the sake of kitchen travel is deeper that I know it myself.

For those on a diet: The onion and broth are so tasty that’ it’s still worth eating even without the bread and cheese.

When it comes to onions, feel free to use Spanish onions, yellow onions, or Vidalia onions, typical from Georgia. Spanish onions used to be imported from Spain and now they grow all over the U.S. They have a sweet taste and are perfect for all types of cooking. Yellow onions have a medium to strong flavor and are truly all-purpose. Vidalia onions are a bit sweeter than the two above. Any of those are good in this recipe.

 

Onion Soup

Serves 6

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves

5 large Spanish onions, peeled and thinly sliced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ cup dry white wine

8 cups chicken or beef broth

6 slices country bread, sliced

2 cups coarsely grated gruyere cheese

 

Cook the Onions: In a large Dutch oven pot, melt the butter and olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and cook it ever so lightly, until it just starts to become a little golden, about 2 minutes. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Season lightly with salt, pepper and nutmeg and keep on cooking. This process is going to take a good 20 to 30 minutes. You don’t want to rush this step, or the onions will burn rather than slowly caramelize. The beauty of this soup lies in the caramelized flavor and color of the onions, so keep the heat at low or medium low at all times and stir very frequently.

When the onions are nicely caramelized, sprinkle the flour and stir for a minute or so to cook.

Add the Liquid: Pour in the wine and let it reduce by half.

Pour the chicken stock and let it get hot. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. It probably will be necessary to add salt and pepper, especially if you use home made broth. If you use store-bought version, it’s the opposite; beware of the sodium component, and you might not need to add any more salt at all. Partially cover the soup and adjust the heat so that the liquid is just simmering; cook for 30 minutes. You can prepare the soup to this point up to 5 days before and keep it in the fridge.

Assemble the Soup and Top with Bread and Cheese:

When it’s time to serve pre-heat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and have six deep ovenproof soup bowls ready to use. Carefully ladle the soup inside each bowl leaving some space for bread and cheese and place them all onto the sheet pan. Place a couple of bread sliced on top. (You don’t need to toast the bread.) and top with plenty of cheese over each bowl. Carefully transfer the heavy sheet pan to the oven and broil just until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve immediately.

 

 

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Bean Broth

Bean Broth with Croutons

I used black eyes peas simply because that’s what was in my pantry. Feel free to use any kind of dried beans to make this delicious bean broth recipe and serve with croutons, parsley and Parmesan, or other garnishes that you might prefer. I used the ends of a loaf bread to make garlic croutons. It goes to show, in times of pandemic, nothing goes to waste! Inspired by the magazine Bon Appetit, this is another great one! You can watch a video of me cooking this recipe with my kids here. 

 

Bean Broth With Croutons

Serves 4 to 6 people

 

For the Black Beans:

1 pound dried black eyed beans, picked over and rinsed (but not soaked)

8 to 10 cups water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 to 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and whole

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 fresh bay leaves

 

For the Croutons:

2 end slices of any type of country bread

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

 

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly chopped parsley

 

For the Beans:

Place the black beans in a pressure cooker and cover with tap water by 2 inches. (about 8 to 10 cups of water). Add the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and bay leaves. Lock the lid and bring to a boil. When you hear the sound of the pressure cooker in full gear, reduce the heat to medium- low (it is very important to maintain a constant gentle pressure because the pressure keeps increasing as the boiling point of the water increases). Check the beans after 20 to 25 minutes – they should be tender, showing no traces of starch, but not mushy. The water will be cloudy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

 

For the Croutons:

Tear the bread into small pieces or cut them with a serrated knife. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the oil and butter. add the bread in a single layer. the oil and butter should be bubbling lightly. Adjust the heat as necessary and keep stirring the croutons as often as you can, to make sure they turn golden evenly all around. Cook until the croutons are crisp and a beautiful golden rich golden brown on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Let them cool completely. Once cooled they can be stored in the refrigerator and warmed back in a hot oven for 3 minutes to crisp up again.

To assemble, pour some of the beans into bowls and garnish with croutons, parmesan and parsley.

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it!

Contact me!

Order a copy of my cookbook Latin Superfoods!

Follow my food adventures on social media!

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And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

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