Rosemary Chicken... I've been having a ton of dried rosemary sitting in my pantry... a gift from my mom's garden. Her rosemary bush is quite big, and every time I go visit, it seems it gets bigger and bigger. I don't have that luxury to go out in the yard in the winter and pick up some fresh herbs.... but in the summer it's a bit different. I manage to get enough for what I need... for which I'm really grateful.
I'll dry my herbs from the summer garden and use it throughout the winter months. Just knowing that the dried herbs come from my own garden, makes them taste that much more flavorful... funny how that works:). But buying fresh herbs from a supermarket in the winter can get to be quite expensive... oftentimes I resort to using just the dried version. In any case, my mom gave me some fresh rosemary sprigs... and it was quite a big bundle. I didn't end up using it all fresh. Actually, most of it dried up on me and I had to store it away.
So every time I opened my pantry door, I'd be reminded of the stash I had, and wondered how I could use it... Of course the only thing that came in my mind, was to use it to flavor roast meats. Oh,.... and stuffing. But you know, I don't necessarily make pot roasts that often, and stuffing even less. And when I do make a pot roast, I tend to use savory and less of the dried rosemary. I'll use the rosemary when making breads and crackers, but somehow, rosemary takes a back seat in my mind when it comes to using it on a normal basis.
But one day, I happened to read the weekly newsletter from Saveur, and noticed they had just posted a recipe for Rosemary Chicken. I had never paired rosemary with chicken before....really don't know why. Like I said before, I guess I sometimes forget to look outside the box, and limit myself to what I know. But the recipe really caught my eye, and I instantly knew I would be making the dish. It looked simple enough, and I had a whole chicken to work with(more on that in another post)... as a plus, I could use quite a bit of the rosemary I had sitting in the pantry. Found out that rosemary, chicken, and lemon goes mighty well together... great combination.
I'll admit I used a bit more rosemary than what the recipes calls for... and it was dried, making it that much stronger. The rosemary can be a bit overpowering if used in large quantities. I would suggest using just 3 small sprigs of fresh rosemary... or even less, if you don't care for the herb too much. But even with the amount I used, I found the rosemary chicken quite delicious. The only other change I made to the recipe, besides adding a bit more rosemary, was to add some garlic cloves... just felt it would add a bit more flavor to the sauce. But really, you don't have to add the garlic, if you don't want to.
The dish came together rather quickly... an ideal meal for busy weeknights. Just shows that sometimes simple is best. Hope you enjoy...
Note: If you don't care for the sauce being a bit "watery", opt to further reduce it. Also, feel free to strain the sauce before serving it with the chicken.
You will need: adapted from Saveur
4-6 skin-on chicken legs/thighs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄4-1/3 cup flour, for dredging
1⁄4-1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups water
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, or to taste*
4 garlic cloves, cut in half
2 fresh bay leaves(I used dried)
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
* I used fresh-dried... well, it was pretty fresh when I got it, but by the time I used it, it dried up:)
1. Heat oven to 425˚F.
2. Season the chicken parts with plenty of salt and pepper.
3. Dredge the chicken in flour to coat completely... shake off the excess flour.
4. In a 12 inch skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Use a bit more oil than 1/4 cup if you are using 6 pieces of chicken instead of 4.
5. To the hot oil, add the floured chicken and cook, turning once, until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Really a good idea to render the fat on the skin to make the skin as crispy as possible....and try not to turn the chicken over too many times.
6. You can leave the fat and oil that's in the pan and continue on to the next step...or you can remove some or most of it(which is what I ended up doing for mine.)
7. Remove pan from heat and slowly add the wine, rosemary, and bay leaves. Return pan to heat and cook until wine reduces by half(or so), about 2-3 minutes.
8. Add 1 1⁄2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover skillet and transfer to oven.
9. Cook until chicken is tender, about 45 minutes.
10. Uncover the skillet and let the chicken skin crisp up a bit....about 5 minutes.
11. Remove chicken from the oven and stir in lemon juice. Serve chicken with the pan sauce.... or you can strain the sauce and further reduce it to a thicker consistency if you like.