This seems to be the “Monday Night Special” – not this exactly but a chicken dish of some sort or another. I don’t plan on having that “monday night” depressing feeling, but I must get it somehow? I always want to cook something easy and restorative…I had on hand a whole chicken cut into 8 easy pieces (it is a kosher chicken I buy that has been brined- bathed in a salt water bath which keeps the meat moist – so no need to season with salt). This dinner couldn’t be easier. The clincher is the parsley. I bought it yesterday because it was jumping off the shelf with freshness shouting, “buy me, buy me!” Flat-leafed parsley may seem like the boring choice in the herb section but nothing goes better with buttery lemony chicken! If you have the right herb, there is really no need to think – just slather and bung in the oven! So, as I was prepping and watching an old 1960’s movie with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine there was a knock on the door and a friend walked in with a bottle of wine and said “good evening”. What he was really saying was “here is a bottle of wine and I would like to drink it with the dinner you are in the process of making me!” Of course he was more than welcome and, the evening carried on with happy banter and eventual dinner! Everyone is in bed now (including the friend, who stayed on our insistence – the weather being cold and icy and a bed already made-up for such an occasion). The evenings are always better than I anticipate, and I’m off to bed tired and happy.
You will need: 1 cut-up chicken (8 pieces – 4 lb approx), 2 small onions, 1 lemon, 6 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup white wine, 1 1/2 cups broth or stock cube & water, 3 tb unsalted butter and 4 tb freshly chopped Italian flat-Leafed parsley, 1/3 cup heavy cream (optional), freshly ground black pepper, 2 lbs baby white & red-skinned potatoes (optional), 1 lb tagliatelle (optional).
preheat oven 400*
Put the following in big saute pan (12″) – diced onions, quartered lemon and 6 garlic cloves in skin. Trim chicken of excess fat and skin and place over onions. Put butter and parsley in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds and you have a green butter. It doesn’t have to be smooth – parsley can be leafy and the butter can be lumpy.
Smear the parsley butter over chicken. Pour wine and 1 cup of broth over chicken (or crumble stock cube and pour water over the chicken) and season with several grinds of black pepper. Place in oven for 40 minutes. after 40 minutes take out of oven and add another 1/2 cup water or brother to pan and place back into oven for another 30 minutes or until chicken is golden and cooked through (use a thermometer if you need reassurance).
Remove chicken to a platter and cover for 10 minutes. Put pan on stove-top and simmer. If you want more sauce, add more water. At this point I added some heavy cream to the pan sauce. It evened out the flavors and muted the lemon tang (in a good way). In the meantime…..when chicken is just ready to come out of the oven put on potatoes to boil in a big pot of salted water.
When potatoes are cooked (you will be able to stick a knife into the center of the flesh without any trouble), drain and add some butter to the pot and stir in gently. Cover with dish towel (keeps them from going soggy) – my Mother’s trick!) until ready to serve. IF you are cooking tagliatelle…put the water on to boil just before the chicken is ready and cook the pasta according to instructions. When cooked, drain, and add some sauce from the pan to the pot and cover with lid until ready to serve. When meat has rested for ten minutes, take shallow plate and add pasta or potatoes, top with chicken and sauce and serve, adding a little more parsley as you go.
Feel free to serve with a green salad or green vegetable such as spinach or boiled peas Or baby boiled potatoes with parsley.