Last week, I guest chef’d a cooking class at Strath Haven High School for 12 hungry people. We took a whole chicken , butchered it into parts and I demo’d recipes for the various parts.
Below are some recipes I shared with the class.
Marc’s Chicken Cacciatore
4 whole chicken legs cut into 2 or 1 whole chicken cut into 8-10 parts sprinkled generously with S&P on both sides
1 green pepper cut into ½” dice
1 red pepper cut into ½” dice
6-8 mushrooms cut into quarters
1 large onion cut into 1/2” dice
1 or 2 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 cup chicken stock
1 14 &½ oz. crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup minced fresh (or dried) herbs – basil, marjoram, thyme and/or rosemary
½ cup dry white or red wine (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. In large skillet heat oil over med. high heat until very hot – not quite smoking
2. Add chicken parts skin side down – cook for 5-6 minutes until skin is nicely browned.
3. Turn skin side up and brown for another 5-6 minutes. Remove chicken to plate.
4. Add the peppers, mushrooms, and onion to the pan.
4. Continue to cook over med. high heat until the veggies become soft and translucent – about 5-6 minutes.
5. Add sliced garlic and continue to cook for another minute or so stirring often.
6. Add the wine and /or chicken stock and scrape bottom of pan and bring to boil.
7. Reduce heat to medium, simmer for 3-4 minutes and add the tomatoes and bring to boil.
8. Return the chicken parts skin side up and nestle them into the sauce keeping the skin dry.
9. Place in oven and roast for about 30-40 minutes until juices from chicken run clear.
10. Remove from oven and serve immediately over pasta or by itself with some good bread.
Seared Duck Breast with Pear Sauce
1 magret duck breast – see NOTE below
2 Tbsp olive oil
I medium onion cut into fine dice
3 stalks celery cut into fine dice
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 pear cored and thinly sliced
1 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp good balsamic vinegar
1. Heat heavy skillet on med. high heat and add olive oil
2. Score the fat side of the duck breast in a diamond pattern trying not to cut into the meat – generously salt and pepper both sides
3. Add duck breast skin side down – let it sautee for 4-5 minutes
4. Continue cooking until skin is quite brown and crisp and a lot of the fat has rendered.
5. Turn breast to meat side down and sautee for another 6-10 minutes until duck is barely medium rare.
6. Remove duck and set on plate.
7. Remove most of the rendered fat ( can be kept for future use such as frying potatoes!)
8. Add the onion and celery and cook until translucent – 4-5 minutes.
9. Add chicken stock and pear, Dijon and balsamic and bring to rapid boil.
10. Reduce by 25-30%
11. Slice duck against grain into thin slices and top with sauce.
NOTE: You can also get regular duck breast for this recipe. They are much smaller with less fat. Follow the same steps, but they will cook much more quickly on both sides.
Marc’s Easy Chicken Stock
Makes 2 or 3 quarts
2 or 3 lbs raw chicken bones – can also add cooked bones but add them at Step 4
2 carrots rough cut on the diagonal
3 or 4 stocks celery cut into large dice
1 or 2 medium onions peeled and cut into large dice
2 whole peeled garlic cloves
6 whole black pepper corns
2 bay leaves
½ cup dry white wine (optional)
Fresh or dried herbs – thyme, parsley, basil, rosemary, or marjoram
1. In a large heavy bottomed pot heat until very hot and add bones and cook over med. high heat for 5 or 6 minutes turning with tongs every minute or so. You want the bones browned but not burned.
2. Add the carrots, celery, garlic cloves and onions and continue to cook stirring frequently until veggies are starting to turn brown – 5-8 minutes.
3. Add the wine (or skip to next step) and deglaze the pan trying to scrape all of the brown particles (the fond) off the bottom.
4. Add enough water to cover, scrape the goodies off bottom and add the peppercorns, bay leaves and herbs.
5. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a light simmer.
6. Simmer for at least 1 hour and up to 2 or 3 depending how concentrated you want it.
7. Let mixture cool a bit and strain through a sieve –use immediately or freeze in 1 Qt. containers.
Note – add S&P to taste when you actually use the stock.