Thursday, September 09, 2004


Wow. This is good stuff with a capital GOOD. It’s the first recipe I’ve tried from the Joy of Cooking series’ All About Chicken, which I’ve currently got checked out from the library, and I’m impressed. This is one of those deceptively simple recipes that magically delivers great flavor. The onions get all soft and caramelized, and don’t even get me started on the garlic. Plus, chicken with real bones and skin and stuff, while always slightly more grossing-out and intimidating for me to prepare and eat, tastes way better than boring old boneless, skinless breasts. (Especially when it’s nice kosher chicken from Trader Joe’s, though I admit I was slightly startled to find a metal tag with Hebrew writing on it embedded deep in one of the wings, like a message in a bottle.) I felt quite carnivorous picking all the meat from the carcass, and quite cheflike saving the neck, wings, and bones for making chicken stock sometime.

So. Try this. We had it with a green salad. The recipe suggests “you might serve it in the Greek style with oven-roasted potatoes cooked with olive oil, garlic, and herbs,” but I turned out to only have one sad, wrinkled potato in the cupboard, so that yummy-sounding plan had to wait for another time. I can imagine potatoes would be really great with this chicken, though, especially with some of the extra onion-garlic-oil-chicken juices from the pan spooned over them. I think I’m drooling.

3½ to 4 ½ pounds chicken parts
salt and pepper to taste
3 medium onions, sliced into rings
6 to 12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried, crumbled)

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

2. Mix the onions, garlic, rosemary, and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl.

3. Rinse the chicken parts and pat them dry with paper towels, put them on a cutting board, and season them liberally with salt and pepper.

4. In a shallow baking dish or roasting pan just large enough to hold the chicken pieces in a single layer (I used my much-abused 9x13 Pyrex), spread half the onion mixture over the bottom. Arrange the chicken pieces, skin side up, atop this and then cover them with the remaining onion mixture. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over the chicken, put the dish in the oven, and bake 45 to 55 minutes. The recipe says the chicken is done when “the dark meat pieces exude clear juices when pricked deeply with a fork.” Serve chicken with some of the onion-garlic-oil-chicken juices from the pan spooned over the top.

Serves: 4-5
Time: a little over an hour, but most of that is baking time

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