Chicken

Jolie Vue Cassoulet

The Greatest of Winter Dishes (adapted from the recipe of Chez Allard, a Paris bistro).

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. plus a little, Great Northern beans, dry
  • 2 onions, cut ½ of 1 into quarters, chop the rest
  • 2 bouquets garnis (each in cheesecloth to include 1 small parsley sprig, 1 small thyme sprig, I peppercorn, ½ bayleaf)
  • 2 T. butter and 2 T oil, or an equal quantity of rendered JVF pork back fat (the best)
  • 1 ½ tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 ½ t. tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 T flour
  • 3 c. dry white wine
  • 6 c. veal or beef stock
  • 1½ lbs JVF pork roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • both legs and thighs of the JVF big fat hen, cut into serving pieces
  • 2 JVF pork sausages, browned and sliced (either the country sausage or the sweet Italian, as you prefer)

Directions:

  1. Rinse the beans overnight, drain, rinse and set aside
  2. In a soup or stockpot, add beans, the quartered onion, 1 bouqet garnis, and cold water to cover by about 3 inches. Boil first, then go to low heat, cover and simmer stirring occasionally until beans are soft, 1.75 to 2 hrs. Add salt and pepper to taste at 1.5 hrs.
  3. While the beans are cooking, add oil and butter to a dutch oven and brown the pork chunks, the sausage and the chicken on both sides, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate and sauté the chopped onion until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Return the meats to the vessel and cover with the browned onions and add the quartered tomatoes, the tomato paste, the garlic cloves, the bouqet garnis, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle in 3 T. of flour and stir in well. Add the wine and broth.
  5. Cover and simmer over medium heat until meats are tender, about 1.5 hrs.
  6. Combine all meats and beans and include all of the drippings from the meat vessel, stir well but gently until combined. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees and bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until a crust has formed on top.  EAT!!

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Chicken Under Brick

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole 3 pound chicken (the Big Fat Hen in your cooler), rinsed, dried and split, backbone removed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and coarsely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for the rub plus 3 tablespoons for the skillet
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, optional
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken on a cutting board, cut out the backbone to allow the chicken to press out flat, and using your hands, press down hard to make it as flat as possible. Mix together the rosemary leaves, salt, pepper, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and rub this all over the chicken. Tuck some of the mixture under the skin as well. If time permits, cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to a day (even 20 minutes of marinating boosts the flavor).
  2. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. On the stovetop burner, preheat an ovenproof 12-inch skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Press rosemary sprigs, if using, into the skin side of the chicken. Put remaining olive oil in the pan and wait about 30 seconds for it to heat up.
  3. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side down, along with any remaining pieces of rosemary and garlic; weight it with another skillet or with one or two bricks or rocks, wrapped in aluminum foil. The idea is to flatten the chicken by applying weight evenly over its surface.  Cook over medium-high to high heat for 5 minutes, then transfer to the oven. Roast for 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and remove the weights; turn the chicken over (it will now be skin side up) and roast 10 minutes more, or until done (large chickens may take an additional 5 minutes or so). Serve hot or at room temperature, with lemon wedges.

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Beer Brats & Summer Grilled Chicken

Slice desired quantity of onions and saute in butter. Add brats, cover with beer (we prefer a heavier beer, but any old beer will do). Boil for say 15 minutes, remove brats but keep beer warm. Throw on the grill until  a nice browning is accomplished. Return to beer until ready to serve, with or without beered onions.

For a nice addition, grill peppers too - sweet, mild or spicy. Cut into strips to be added to your brat dog po’ boy. While at it, you might as well grill the bun too and if you happen to spread the bun with a garlicky butter first, you’ll be sitting on top of the grilling world.  Cooking is fun and therapeutic, don’t you agree?

What about the big fat hen in your cooler. Do you have to cut it in pieces to grill it? No. In fact it's better to simply butterfly it with shears or scissors — cut along the spine then cut through the breastbone. Lay it flat on the grill and take it from there. When it is finished, it will be easy to pull off into pieces for the table. 

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Lolita's Whole Chicken with Herbs in A Slow Cooker

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lb.  whole chicken, giblets removed
  • 3 onions, halved, then each half cut in quarters
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs fresh sage
  • 9 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

Directions:

Spray or grease inside of slow cooker.  Scatter 2 of the cut onions over the bottom, separating the onion layers.  Add 2 garlic cloves, along with 1 rosemary sprig.  1 sage sprig, 3 thyme sprigs.  Place chicken inside slow cooker with legs and open cavity pointed up.  Sprinkle black pepper inside chicken cavity and stuff in 1 rosemary sprig, 1 sage sprig, 3 thyme sprigs, 2 garlic cloves, and the remaining cut onion; pour soy sauce into chicken cavity.  (Some soy sauce will run out of the chicken into the slow cooker, and some will remain inside chicken to flavor it from the inside.) Place chicken breast side down, cover, and cook on low for 5-6 hours until instant read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast meat registers 165 degrees.  Do not overcook chicken, in order to avoid dry, stringy texture.

Remove chicken to platter with breast side up, cover with foil, let rest for 15-30 minutes to allow juices to settle in meat.

Meanwhile, use slotted spoon to remove caramelized onions; set aside.  Pour broth the remains in bottom of slow cooker through wire mesh strainer to remove solids.  Allow liquid to settle and spoon off fat (or use a grease separator).  Keep warm to serve with chicken.  Strained broth may also be used to make thickened gravy, if desired.  May be diluted with an equal amount of additional chicken broth, if more volume is needed.

Cut chicken into pieces and arrange on platter, spoon onions over top, and ladle on warmed broth or serve with gravy.  Salt chicken to taste, if necessary.

Chicken may also be shredded or chopped, refrigerated or frozen, for use in other recipes.

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