This recipe courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine reminds me of a chicken cacciatore without the long cooking time required of the traditional dish. Cacciatore is a winter dish and it is spring so meals need to be lighter. Because I love deep and flavorful dishes I’ve increased the amount of garlic and rosemary called for in the recipe and added an extra bay leaf. The results are a lighter yet still flavorful chicken dish that when served with garlic mashed red skin potatoes (again, more flavor) and peas makes for a complete meal. You can easily double the recipe to accommodate a larger family or triple it for a crowd.
Rosemary & Red Wine Braised Chicken
2 bone-in chicken drumsticks
2 bone-in chicken thighs
1 Teaspoon, divided
1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup Chianti or other rich red wine
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 Teaspoon sugar
1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted whole tomatoes, crushed and undrained
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Make 1 (1/2-inch-deep) cut in each chicken piece; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.
- Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan.
- Add shallots, garlic, and rosemary to pan; cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
- Add wine to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
- Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, chicken stock, sugar, tomatoes, and bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil and boil for several minutes until the amount of liquid is reduced.
- Return chicken to pan. Reduce heat to medium; cook, partially covered, 15 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Who doesn’t love banana bread? From a cook’s perspective it is a quick and easy way to use up all of those too ripe bananas. From the dining perspective, there is nothing better than a warm slice of banana bread for breakfast or a snack with a cup of tea or coffee.
This recipe from Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Flour Bakery is indeed easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. The original recipe calls for the addition of ground cinnamon in the batter. I also add an equal amount of ground nutmeg and have never heard a complaint. This bread has become my go-to bake sale item and I even get special requests to make extra. Whenever I have extra bananas that need to be used up I’ll make a batch of bread in mini loaf pans and keep them in the freezer until needed. They freeze beautifully and will fully defrost when left on the counter overnight.
FLOUR BAKERY’S FAMOUS BANANA BREAD
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
3 1/2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
3/4 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped (optional)
1) Position rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 325 F. Butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
2) In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
3) Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat sugar and eggs on medium for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
4) On low, slowly drizzle in oil. Don’t pour it all in at once. You want to pour it in over 1 minute, to keep all the air you just beat into the egg-sugar mixture. Add the mashed bananas, creme fraiche, and vanilla. Continue to mix on low just until combined.
5) Using a spatula, fold in dry ingredients and nuts (if using) just until thoroughly combined. No flour streaks should be visible and the nuts evenly distributed. Pour into the greased loaf pan and smooth top.
6) Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until golden on top and the center springs back when pressed. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, then pop out of the pan to finish cooling.
The banana bread can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temp up to 3 days. Or, it can be well wrapped and frozen up to 2 weeks.
Yield: one 9 x 5 loaf or 8 mini loaves