Originally a peasant dish (perhaps of stewing hen or rooster) from the Abruzzo region in Italy, Americans were likely first introduced to this classic in a 1969 article from the New York Times.
My riff on America’s Test Kitchen’s modern adaptation (see video below) uses locally pastured chicken thighs, prosciutto, garlic, fresh herbs, chicken stock and white wine, all served over fennel-scented brown rice with toasted shallots and flat-leaf parsley..
Pollo Canzanese (serves 2-4)
4 large skin-on, bone-in, pastured chicken breasts
2 ounces prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2-3 cloves garlic, slivered (not minced)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons sprouted wheat or spelt flour
1-1/4 cups dry white wine
3/4 cup homemade chicken stock
2 bay leaves (fresh preferred)
2 sprigs rosemary, stripped, leaves chopped (reserve the stems)
8 leaves fresh sage
3 whole cloves
juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cultured butter, cold
freshly-cracked black pepper
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Refrigerate, uncovered 4 hours or overnight to help ensure a crispy skin when cooked.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add prosciutto and sauté until lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the prosciutto and garlic to a side dish.
Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, season the chicken with pepper and place in the hot oil skin-side down. Allow the chicken to cook without moving until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Turn the chicken over cook another 5 minutes, again without moving. Transfer the chicken to a side dish.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of olive oil/fat, reserving the remainder for the rice.
Sprinkle the flour into the pan and whisk continuously to form a light roux, about 1 minute.
De-glaze the pan with the wine, taking care to scrape up all the brown bits (the fond) from the bottom.
Add the cooked prosciutto and garlic back into the pan along with the bay leaves, sage, cloves, rosemary stems (without leaves) and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
Add the chicken to the pan, making sure that the volume of liquid is sufficient to rise to a point just below the crisp chicken skin. Pour a little liquid off if there’s too much, or add a little stock if there isn’t enough.
Place the uncovered pan into a 325 degree oven and cook until the chicken is fork tender, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice..
1 cup germinated brown rice, rinsed
2-1/4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon reserved oil/fat
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, cracked
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
Toast the fennel in a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the reserved oil/fat and shallots and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
Add the rice and stir to coat.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until done, about 45 minutes.
To Finish and Serve
Remove the pan with the chicken from the oven. Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover with foil.
Working quickly, put the chicken pan on the burner over medium-high heat. Pick out and discard the cloves, sage, bay and rosemary stems.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, chopped rosemary leaves, parsley and butter and whisk until smooth.
Line a platter with the rice and ladle the sauce over the rice. Place the cooked chicken on top of the rice, drizzle with a little of the sauce and serve piping hot.
Here’s that video..
A seasonal, Franco-Italian dish of fresh cauliflower, EVOO, homegrown garlic and thyme and the zest & juice from a Meyer lemon. Topped with sea salt, cracked pepper and local sprouts. Slightly crisp on the outside, with a luxurious, creamy interior. Look for the recipe in the comment section at the bottom of this post..
Cauliflower has a long history. François Pierre La Varenne employed it in Le cuisinier françois after it had been introduced to France from Genoa in the 16th century. Cauliflower is featured in Olivier de Serres’ Théâtre de l’agriculture (1600), as cauli-fiori “as the Italians call it, which are still rather rare in France; they hold an honorable place in the garden because of their delicacy”, but they did not commonly appear on grand tables until the time of Louis XIV.
Cauliflower is low in fat, low in carbs but high in dietary fiber, folate, water, and vitamin C, possessing a high nutritional density.
Cauliflower contains several phytochemicals, common in the cabbage family, that may be beneficial to human health.
Sulforaphane, a compound released when cauliflower is chopped or chewed, may protect against cancer.
Indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that enhances DNA repair and acts as an estrogen antagonist, slowing the growth of cancer cells.
Boiling reduces the levels of these compounds, with losses of 20–30% after five minutes, 40–50% after ten minutes, and 75% after thirty minutes. However, other preparation methods, such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying, had no significant effect on the compounds.
A high intake of cauliflower has been associated with reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer.
100g of cauliflower contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA:
Calories : 25
A simple, classic Roman preparation of fresh broccoli sautéed in olive oil with loads of garlic and red pepper flakes, finished with Mediterranean sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper and a few shreds of soft Bel Paese.
Highly nutritious and pretty seriously delicious..
- Foods to Eat in 2012: Broccoli (friendseat.com)
Homemade pizza, that is. Roasted fresh red peppers, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and heirloom garlic, thinly-sliced Soppressata di Puglia, fresh mozzarella and Texas-grown Albahaca basil, all on a thin, crisp cornmeal crust. Sea salt and cracked black pepper..
Bits and pieces of leftover smoked pheasant with onions, garlic, mushrooms, asparagus, Arborio rice, pheasant stock, French vermouth, fresh herbs and lots of cracked pepper..
1/2 cup white onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon pastured butter
1 cup French dry vermouth
1 bunch fresh herbs
5 cups pheasant stock, divided
2/3 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup fresh asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound smoked pheasant, torn into small pieces
1 cup Arborio or Bomba rice
pieces of pheasant skin
Toast the onions in a dry skillet over medium heat until nicely browned. Add the butter, olive oil and garlic, stir to combine and cook 1 minute. Add the vermouth and scrape loose any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the mixture to cook down until the liquid has been reduced to about 1/3 cup.
Add the rice, stir to combine and cook 2 minutes. Add 3 cups stock and reduce heat to a gentle boil and cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, toast the pieces of skin in a heavy skillet until the fat has rendered and the skin has begun to darken and crisp. Transfer the skin to a cutting board and allow to cool enough to handle. Chop the skin into small pieces, add to the rendered fat (add a little butter if there isn’t enough) along with the mushrooms and saute until golden. Set aside.
Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add another 1-1/2 cups of stock and simmer, stirring constantly, until half the liquid is absorbed. Add the pheasant, mushroom mixture and asparagus and cook (again stirring constantly) until the asparagus is tender and the pheasant is warmed through. Use the last 1/2 cup of stock if needed to prevent the pan from getting dry. Season liberally with freshly-cracked pink pepper and taste for salt (although it usually doesn’t need any).
Turn the finished risotto out onto pre-warmed plates and finish with a little aged parmesan if desired. Properly made risotto has a creamy texture and is wet enough to slide around the plate a little.
In Texas, most pheasant hunting takes place in the 3 dozen or so northernmost counties (the Panhandle), where the next season runs December 3rd through January 1st. Playa lake bottoms are a consistently productive location for both ducks and Ring-necked pheasant.
Orange and Fennel-Roasted Chicken, risotto with green beans, browned pearl onions and fried capicola..
Marinate locally-pastured chicken pieces (I’m using bone-in, skin-on thighs) in a mixture of raw olive oil, freshly-squeezed orange juice, garlic and cracked fennel seeds for 4-8 hours, turning once.
Remove chicken from refrigerator, wipe off excess marinade and season liberally with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, then roast in a 375 degree oven until crisp and the juices run clear, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, saute pearl onions and roughly-chopped dry coppa (capicola) in a bit of olive oil until nicely browned and slightly crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions & coppa to a plate, then add bomba rice to the pan, stirring to coat each grain with the flavored oil that remains.
Add three times the amount of vegetable stock, chicken stock or water to the pan as you have rice, and allow it to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add cut fresh green beans and allow to simmer, stirring continuously until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Add the onions and coppa, stir to combine and remove from heat. Allow to stand 3-5 minutes before spooning onto a serving dish.
Top cooked rice with the roasted chicken and pour the pan juices over the top. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve immediately.