Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chicken Scarpiello Recipe Redux!

It's here! Per my last post, the fabulous reworked Carmine's chicken scarpiello recipe has arrived. My sister, D, had to do some serious detective-like reworks to get the recipe just so. Why? Because some important steps and ingredients were left out of the cookbook version, and now with the mystery solved we can all sleep again at night.

Chicken Scarpariello
(from the Kitchen of Michael Ronis, with D's moderations)

Servings: 4-6
Difficulty: Moderate
Cook Time: 30-60 min

1 3-4 lb. fryer chicken, cut into 12 pieces (2 wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs, each breast cut into thirds)
3 large lemons
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
2 large heads of garlic
2 teaspoons fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
Splash white wine
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped
1 cup of chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooked linguine and/or a loaf of thickly sliced Italian rustic bread

Begin by washing and patting dry the 12 pieces of chicken. Place the chicken pieces into a large bowl that will both hold it and allow for mixing. Chop half of the herbs and mix with the chicken. Cut two of the lemons in half, squeeze out all of the juice, and throw the squeezed lemons in with the chicken and herbs. Add olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic cloves and mix well.

Cover at least 24 hours although 48 hours will make it even better. Between two and three times a day, unwrap the chicken and toss thoroughly; return plastic wrap to cover.

Take a 12" saute pan and add the vegetable oil. While the oil is heating up over medium heat, take the chicken out of the marinade and shake off as much of the herbs and liquid as possible. These herbs will burn during cooking. Reserve the garlic cloves for later. When the oil is just about smoking, add each piece of chicken slowly, sliding them into the oil and cooking all of the pieces of chicken at one time. Squeeze the remaining lemon’s juice and reserve for later.

Make sure to use a pan large enough so that the chicken can sit in the oil without overlapping another piece. Do not turn the chicken over until it is very brown and crusty; this can take at least 10 minutes to 12 minutes. Once the chicken is very brown and crusty, turn the pieces over and continue cooking the other side until once again, all sides are all very brown and crusty. While the chicken is browning, throw at least eight cloves of the marinated garlic with the chicken into the oil, cooking them until they are brown and tender. Take out the garlic pieces and reserve. Remove the chicken pieces and place onto a bake-proof dish. Once the chicken is very brown and crusty, place into an oven and either continue cooking or keep warm on a low heat. With the saute pan that was used for browning the chicken, empty the oil or discard. Toss in one tablespoon of butter and slowly cook the chopped shallots.

Next, add the roasted browned whole garlic cloves, previously reserved, and add the remaining chopped herbs; lightly saute for one minute over low heat. Add a splash of white wine and cook for 30 seconds over high heat. Add the chicken stock and reduce until the liquid becomes dark and the taste is strong. At this point, on low heat, add the remaining butter, lemon salt and pepper to taste. Add more lemon according your palate.

Place the chicken onto a platter one piece at a time and then pour the sauce over the chicken. Recommend serving over linguine along with Italian rustic bread for dunking up the sauce.

Voila! I hope you try this corrected recipe, because this version of chicken scarpiello is one of the best chicken dishes out there! Thanks Carmine's and D.

Until we eat again,

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