Currently, I am reading Family Happiness, a novel. There is a sameness about her writing whether she is explaining a character or a recipe, and I have found that I like it very much. Regarding her recipes they are more like a tutorial, allowing the home cook to cook with what they have, which is right up my alley.
From Home Cooking, I made this wonderful chicken dish...
|Pepper Thyme Chicken over Polenta with Bitter Greens|
Cooks Note: The recipe calls for Broccoli Rabe, a delicious, bitter vegetable. I love it, unfortunately, our fresh market was out, rather than not make this lovely dish, I did substitute spinach and although it is mild with the spinach, it is still a truly wonderful dish.
1 chicken, cut into 8 equal pieces OR 8 large chicken thighs (with bone and skin) about 3 pounds
1 scant T dried thyme, finely crumbled
scant 1/8 t fresh ground black pepper ( if you want, use more)
1 rounded T brown sugar
1/2 t salt*
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes (again, if you like, use more)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T butter cut into 8 pieces
Cooked polenta for 6-8 servings
2 bunches of Broccoli Rabe, cleaned and steamed
Combine the dry ingredients to make a dry marinade, sprinkle over both sides of the chicken. Place chicken in a single layer in a pan large enough to have 1/2 space around each piece. Let rest at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350, sprinkle the chicken with the garlic and dot with the butter, bake chicken 1 1/2 hour or until chicken is very tender and skin is crisp.
While chicken is baking, cook polenta in the usual manner. When done, add a knob of butter, stir well. Cover and keep warm. When ready to serve, you may need to thin the polenta by stirring in a few tablespoons of boiling water, whisk until smooth. If you prefer your polenta a bit stiffer, you may skip this step.
Then prepare the broccoli rabe by removing any tough lower leaves, wash well. Steam gently until bright green and the stems are tender (but not mushy). Drain well, set aside.
Pour or spoon the polenta onto a large serving platter, surround with the greens, place chicken on top of greens in a decorative pattern.
From the drippings in the pan, skim off and discard all but 2 T of the chicken fat. Take a whisk and bring together the contents of the pan, scraping brown bits off bottom and sides. Pour over the polenta in the middle of the platter.
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