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Old reliable. Best friend. Tried and true. The dress that boosts your confidence every time it’s worn. The things in life we can count on. Ain’t it great to have constants in life?

Shoemaker’s Chicken is my go-to, food-wise. I found the recipe in Food & Wine Magazine many years ago. I am not certain, but it may have been in the column where readers write in and ask for a restaurant recipe. Again I am not certain, but Shoemaker may have been the chef’s name. After searching a bit on Google, it looks like it may be a take on the Italian dish Scarpariello. Food.com has a close version, but most are quite different like this old recipe that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal, credited back to the New York Times. Some versions even call for sausage or bell peppers.

I love my Shoemaker’s Chicken dish because the ingredients are simple, the preparation is simple, and it will do nicely for a weeknight dinner or for a dinner party. The chicken just loves a long simmer, so it’s great for cooking in advance. Plus, you can easily double or triple the recipe to feed a crowd. I once made it as a second entrée for Christmas Day dinner, and it stood up nicely to my sister’s prime rib.

Pictured below are the remnants of dinner. I hadn’t planned on posting about this meal, but before cleaning my plate thought otherwise, as it was particularly yummy. Just for fun, I molded the rice in a cup which made for a pretty presentation (sorry you missed it).

Shoemaker’s Chicken
prep time 20 minutes
cooking time 30 minutes (but it can simmer on very low heat for an hour; just add more broth to prevent the sauce from getting too thick)
serves 4

4 boneless chicken breasts trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/3 cup flour
5 shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
4-6 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
salt and freshly ground pepper

Dredge chicken in seasoned flour and sauté in batches over medium high heat in 1 tbsp each olive oil and butter until golden brown. Add additional equal parts oil and butter as needed when adding more chicken to the pan. Remove batches of browned chicken to rest on a plate. Once all the chicken is browned and resting, reduce heat to medium low and add the shallots and garlic (do not wipe out the pan). Sauté until soft. Increase heat to medium high and deglaze the pan with the wine, and cook until the wine is reduced by half. Add the broth, rosemary, chicken, and any accumulated chicken juices to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Before serving, swirl in 1 tbsp butter for a luscious finish.

Nice accompaniments:
Basmati Rice

Brocolini
1 head of brocolini
1 generous pat of unsalted butter
lemon zest
juice from one lemon wedge (about 1/6 of a lemon)
pinch of hot red pepper flakes

Trim brocolini stems and place in a 10″ skillet with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring water to a boil over high heat; cover; turn heat to low and simmer until tender crisp, about 5 minutes. Add butter, lemon juice, zest and red pepper flakes.

Maybe my old friend will become a friend of yours, too.

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