Why this blog??

Why this blog?? I often find myself stressing over what to make for my family for dinner. We live a busy life and some meals need time to prep, cook and let's not forget shopping for everything you need. I love cookbooks and websites, but there are so many recipe's at times it is overwhelming. The recipe's I will be posting are things I actually made. I will tell you if they are easy or more time consuming. I will also tell you if they are good. Most of these are recipe's I have made for years and continue to make because they are easy or quick and my family loves them and i know yours will too! I will also try to at least once in a whlie try a new recipe I've found on line or in a book and honestly rate it. I always encourage others to send me their favorite recipe's as well! I am a mom... not a chef. But I am a mom who enjoys cooking for her family and making a somewhat healthy meal (some days more healthy than others:) ) In each recipe I will share how I recommend serving it, any substitutions I can think of that are also good, or ways to prepare ahead of time to make the cooking part seem quicker! I am not a photographer, as you can see... most of these pictures are taken from my phone camera, so may not be the best! I love to hear from others who have made these recipes and what they have done to change the recipe... please post comments! Thank you! To "like" me on facebook, go to this link... It's What's Cookin

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pancetta Roasted Chicken

This is a great dish I learned to make at the cooking class I attended (Whisked Away- Phoenix). Recipe by Alex Palermo. This dish is great for a dinner party... the fennel and sage smell amazing in this dish. I made this with my Scalloped Potato Gratin and Arugula Salad with Manchego and Caramelized Walnuts. Everyone loved the whole meal. It requires a bit of chopping, but over all it isn't too difficult a dish. I chopped the carrots and onions the night before to help with my prep time. This recipe yields 8 generous servings... You could probably cut recipe in half or just make if you are having a dinner party.

* 3-4 T butter (enough to completely coat skillet)
* 1 cup chopped onion (I used sweet onion)
* 3/4 cup small cubes peeled carrot (see below for the demo I learned in cooking class on how to cube a carrot. 3/4 cup came from one very large carrot)
* 2 large fresh sage leaves, minced (I used 4 because I really wanted that extra flavor from the sage)
* 1 large garlic clove- halved (I used 2 because I love garlic)
* 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay)
* 1 cup small cubes crustless country bread (I used a loaf of fresh french baguette bread)
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
* 1 large egg, beaten to blend
* 1 T grated fresh parmesan cheese
* 1/2 tsp salt (Kosher)
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (I used much more of this)
* 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 8 thin pancetta slices
* 3 large fresh fennel bulbs, trimmed, each cut into 6 wedges

Preheat oven to 400 F. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, sage and garlic. Saute until carrot is tender, about 10 minutes. Add wine; simmer until evaporated, scraping up browned bits. Remove from heat. Mix in bread, walnuts, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Taste to see if seasoned enough. If so, then add egg and mix together well. Remove garlic halves.

Make a slit in chicken breasts opening them up (not sure what correct term is... butterflying them?)  Spoon stuffing into cavitites of chickens; skewer cavities closed. You can add more butter and rub over each chicken breast if you wish... I didn't. Season each chicken generously with salt and pepper. Arrange in roasting pan. Lay 1 pancetta slice over the top of each chicken breast. Surround the chicken with the fennel wedges.

Roast chickens and fennel for aprox 30 mins, turn fennel over and keep roasting aprox another 15-20 mins, until chicken is golden and thermometer reads 165. Basting with pan juices. Once done, let rest about 10 minutes before serving.  Serve chicken with pan juices.


Cubing a carrot...

cut one side  
lay on flat side and cut each side

now both sides and bottom should be flat. 
Flip to cut last side

cut each square into 3rds...                  
Here it's cut into 3rds

lay each piece flat and you'll cut each into 3rds again
cut each into 3rds

once in 3rds again, cut into cubes.
3/4 cup

Ok, now that we have the carrot done... :) haha
saute carrot, onion, sage and garlic halves. 
cube bread

add parm cheese, walnuts and bread. Season and taste. Then add egg

Add wine and simmer till evaporated

Butterfly chicken breasts

Season outside generously

Stuff with the stuffing mixture

Top with pancetta and put wedged fennel all around

Roast in oven

Half is enough for most people, especially if serving with other sides. Don't mind my fancy purple plastic plates:) I cooked for 12 of us... after all that cooking, who wants to do dishes??!! NOT ME!!

No comments: