My family hates to cook. It has been completely evident my whole life. So, this is why it comes as such a complete surprise that after my Los Angeles days, that I was the one who picked up the culinary bug.
Since, I move around so much, I don't get to entertain as much as one would like. This is why I love to cook for my family whenever I am in town and on the occasion when they happen to be visiting
I still remember the Christmas '09 fiasco. I saw an amazing menu with prime rib, yorkshire pudding with bacon, and many other sides in one December issue of Bon Appetit. I was fixated. I wanted that for Christmas dinner and I just could not seem to get it out of my mind. The only way to ease this craving was to cook it, and to this day, my cravings (okay and love of cooking/baking) are the driving force behind my time in the kitchen.
This was one elaborate menu and yes, it took the night before as well as the morning in prep. This did not pan over well with my family. They kept wondering why I was spending so much time in the kitchen and needless to say, I have been banned majority of the time when I am visiting.
About two weeks ago, my sister and mom came to visit me for my 30th birthday. On that Saturday it rained all day and with living in Birmingham, there wasn't much we could do. So, I decided to cook.
I had dog eared this recipe the moment February's Bon Appetit issue arrived in my mail box and now was the perfect time to make it. Braised chicken with a tawny port sauce seemed perfect. It was winter's last call and braising is always the perfect fix it and almost forget it. Which my family loved. Enjoy!
1 cup AP flour
1 Tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon Hungarian Sweet paprika
One 3-3 1/4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
12 cipolline onions or 1-inch diameter pearl onions, blanced one minute, peeled
2 large roasted red peppers from jar, halved, cut into 3/4 inch-wide strips
6 large garlic cloves, pressed
4 large fresh Italian parsley sprigs
4 large fresh bay leaves, bruised
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup tawny port
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon butter, room temperature (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Add chicken pieces to seasoned flour, 1 at a time, and turn to coat. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, and saute until brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate; reserve skillet.
Arrange chicken in single layer in large ovenproof pot. Top with tomatoes and juice, prosciutto, onions, peppers, garlic, parsley, and bay leaves; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon paprika. Add wine and Port to reserved skillet. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Remove from heat. Whisk in mustard and tomato paste; pour mixture over chicken and bring to a boil. Cover; transfer to oven.
Braise chicken until very tender, about 1.5 hours. Discard bay leaves and parsley. Using tongs, transfer chicken and toppings to platter. Return sauce in pot to simmer. If thicker sauce is desired, stir 1 tablespoon flour and butter in small bowl until a smooth paste forms. Add flour paste to sauce and whisk to blend. Simmer until sauce thickens to desired consitency, whisking often.
Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon over chicken and serve.