Chicken in Milk

Chicken in Milk

I’ve always been a fan of Jamie Oliver. Perhaps it’s his relaxed, almost reckless, approach to cooking or the relative simplicity of his recipes that I find appealing. So, when I came across his recipe for “Chicken in Milk” adapted by Sam Sifton, on the New York Times “Cooking” website a few weeks ago, I thought I’d make it the subject of a post on my blog.

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Easy Crispy Baked Chicken

Crispy Baked Chicken Legs

Sometimes I just want or even have to cook something simple yet tasty. Such was the case yesterday, when I realized all the work my initial recipe for this post required and that I didn’t have the time to make it. Consequently, I opted for a far less complicated dish that despite its simplicity yielded loads of flavor: Crispy Baked Chicken.

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Pan-Roasted Chicken with Leeks

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Leeks

A wicked nor’easter and a plethora of sagging leeks pretty much determined the choice of recipe for this week’s post.  Originally, I had planned to prepare Marcella Hazan’s Pan Roasted Pork Loin with Leeks after the grocery store delivered two bunches of the leafy alliums rather that the two individual ones I had ordered. However, when Mother Nature graced us with the worst snow storm of the season, getting to the market to procure the loin was no longer an option.

Housebound by the weather, I looked through my cookbooks for other leek recipes but most that I found used a single leek and I had five on hand.  I then turned to the web, where I found a recipe that called for three and for which I had almost all the other ingredients on hand except for drumsticks and half-and half, for which I respectively substituted thighs and heavy cream: Pan Roasted Chicken with Leeks.

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Pollo alla Contadina

Pollo alla Contadina

After preparing this dish, from Carol Fields’ In Nonna’s Kitchen, I am forced to question its attribution to a contadina, the Italian word for a farmer’s wife. Indeed, given some of the recipe’s ingredients like nutmeg and lemon zest as well as some of its directions like using a separate skillet to sweat the aromatics and a fine-mesh sieve or a food processor to puree the sauce, the only farmer’s wife I could imagine making the dish is Lisa Douglas, played by Eva Gabor in the ‘60s television show, “Green Acres.”

Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor in Green Acres
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James Beard’s Farmer’s (?) Chicken

James Beard’s Farmer’s Chicken

For my second post of the year, my husband suggested a New York Times recipe that had caught his eye and was made more appealing since we had all of the ingredients on hand: James Beard’s Farmer’s Chicken. The recipe first appeared in a feature story on James Beard by Julia Moskin that was occasioned by the publication in 2020 of a Beard biography The Man Who Ate Too Much, by John Birdsall.

Moskin attributes the recipe to a son of a member of Beard’s circle, chef Andrew Zimmern, who told her about his childhood experiences in Beard’s kitchen and “encountering tastes there for the first time, like a braise of chicken with olives, almonds and raisins, a dish with roots in Spain and California that Beard made often.” Beard claimed to have “adapted the recipe from Spanish immigrants who worked on ranches in California.”

However, having gleaned from Birdsall’s book a better understanding of Beard’s showmanship, I have to question the chef’s attribution of his dish to migrant farmers. The recipe’s bend of ingredients, currants, almonds, olives, paprika, seem more Moroccan to me; and after preparing the dish, I found the flavors quite similar to those of a tajin.

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Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

After last week’s disappointment with my venture into “retro American,” a plethora of chicken drumsticks found in the freezer along with another retro recipe, this one from the New York Times “Cooking” website, led me to attempt another American dish from 30 years ago: “Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.” It’s an adaptation by Marion Burros from Jane and Michael Stern’s 1991 cookbook American Gourmet.

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Skillet-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Skillet Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

At the end of yet another stressful pandemic week, I was once again seeking comfort food. Something homey, simple, and familiar. My search led me to the top shelf of my bookcase and Ina Garten’s Modern Comfort Food, where I found a recipe for skillet-roasted chicken and potatoes.

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Pan-Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes, Rosemary, and Garlic

Pollo al Rosmarino

Watching the latest episode in Stanley Tucci’s CNN series, Searching for Italy, which focused on Roman cuisine, led me to a more serious and scholarly treatment of the subject, Oretta Zanini de Vita’s Popes, Peasants, and Shepherds.

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One-Pot Chicken with Caramelized Lemon and Dates

One Pot Chicken with Caramelized Lemon and Dates

While sheltering in place during the pandemic, I find myself watching more cooking videos on YouTube than I’d like to admit. Many are a waste of time, but some, like the one that influenced today’s post, are inspiring. I discovered the video through Alison Roman’s “A Newsletter: Recipes, Stories, Unsolicited Advice.”
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Chicken with Sausage & Peppers “Scarpariello

Chicken with Sausage & Peppers

When my husband recently asked me to prepare Chicken Scarpariello, one of his favorite dishes (of which there seem to be hundreds), I agreed—but only if he could find a recipe in one of my cookbooks.

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