Welcome to the new and improved Carano's Cucina. I make a lot of kick ass food and go out to some amazing restaurants. Take a look around and make yourself at home :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Peppery Chicken

I'm here!  I didn't drop off the face of the earth.  I've just been less than inspired lately in the cooking department and have pretty much stopped going out to eat.  But I'm here, and I have a new recipe.  I was intrigued when I saw a dish from Rao's in NY featured on a TV show recently and decided I'd give it a go.  I'm not saying I could ever make something as good as you can get at Rao's, especially because you cannot get a table there ever.  Last time I checked, there were seats available at my dinner table every night!

This is a one skillet dish and it's relatively quick and painless.  I used bone in/skin on chicken thighs.  I get the best deals on them lately and I generally prefer thigh meat.  But if you want to go for a little less fat, by all means use breasts.  In a heavy skillet, put in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and heat it up.  When the oil is hot, put in your chicken (seasoned with salt and pepper), skin side down.

Cook on medium high for about 5-7 minutes, until you get a nice golden brown on the skin and then turn the chicken and brown on the other side.  Watch for splatter.  Also add a small chopped sweet onion of your choice.  Once the chicken is brown on both sides and the onions are starting to do their thing, add four chopped potatoes.  Cut them in smaller bite sized pieces and if you want more than four, go for it.  I'm a spuddy gal myself, love potatoes.  So I would probably use more. 

Give the potatoes a few minutes to work in the pan with the chicken and the onions, giving them a little salt and pepper.   Then add a cup and a half of chicken broth.  If you're not using homemade broth or one that has lower sodium, then make sure you adjust how much salt you use as you go.   So far, pretty standard stuff huh?  Nothing too interesting here.   But now it gets interesting.  Add a cup of chopped pepper rings and a half to three quarters of a cup of the juice from the pepper jar.   Ahhh, now things are getting interesting!

Stir it all up and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the chicken and potatoes are done.   Potatoes should be fork tender.  I use a mild pepper ring, but I believe Rao's actually uses hot cherry peppers.  I don't do hot, so I chose to go the mild route.  The brine from the pepper jar mixed with the broth, the chicken juices and the onions turn this dish into something kind of special.  The potatoes take on so much of the flavor it's amazing.

The chicken is juicy and succulent... yeah I said succulent!   It is.   The potatoes have tons of flavor, the peppers add a nice zing to the whole thing.  It's easy and delish.  I think next time I make it I'm going to try making it with spaghetti instead of potatoes.   I must keep tweaking, it's just how I roll.

Buon Cibo mia Amici.