Chicken Four Ways

A week ago, Parade Magazine* celebrated eighty years. The featured recipe of the week took readers back to 1982 when Julia Child was the magazine’s food editor. Lots of people are enamored with Julia. I, for one, love the 2009 Julie and Julia movie.

Julia, in the center

*Parade Magazine has come as a weekly insert in our Sunday newspaper for as long as I can remember.

On the other hand, my go-to reference cookbook is The Joy of Cooking. A two volume paperback copy came with me on my Peace Corps adventure. It’s still on my shelf as a go-to when questions arise or I’m seeking a recipe. When Constant Companion and I married, I actually thought of cooking its recipes from start to finish, just like the aforesaid Julie did with Julia Child’s tome. No, I did not do it.

On yet another hand, I decided to cook Julia’s recipe revived in the recent Parade for dinner one night last week. All the ingredients were present in the fridge. Sauteed chicken with peppers, onions, garlic and herbs graced our dinner table.

Use bone-in chicken pieces* seasoned with salt and black pepper. Julia sautéed her chicken in 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I used only the oil+. Cook chicken, skin side down, for 6-8 minutes, then turn when browned. Then cover and cook 20 minute or until done.

*I used boneless chicken breast which needed to be excavated from the freezer. I recommend following the instructions with bone-in chicken to get the fullest flavor. The state of today’s chicken breasts was a topic of discussion around the dinner table. It seems that chickens, like turkeys, are being now bred for larger breasts. Our household does not like this trend, they seem to lack flavor.

+”Olive oil” (not the ubiquitous EVOO) was something I found interesting in the circa 1982 recipe. As a child, I accompanied my mom to Stamoulis Greek wholesalers somewhere in the bowels of Pittsburgh to get our Greek culinary supplies. She bought “olive oil.” There was none of this “extra virgin olive oil.” Just plain old, plain old olive oil. I wonder when the distinction emerged. By the way, on our visits, Mr. Stamoulis always gave me a handful of Jordon almonds.

In another skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add 1 large yellow sliced onion, sauté for 5-6 minutes, add 2 large bell peppers, sliced. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until they start to soften. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and oregano or Italian herb seasoning to taste.

Spoon the cooked vegetables over the chicken for the last 7-8 minutes. “Scatter” is Julia’s word! Cover and finish cooking.

This Julia Child recipe was but one of the chicken dishes we’ve enjoyed in the past few months. Like so many others during our forced seclusions, I’ve tried new recipes to add variety to our dinners. Here are a few more that were memorable. Numerous recipes can be found on-line, so I’m not including them here, only showing photos of the finished dishes.

Chicken with Kumquats*

I learned that Dade City, Florida is the largest producer and shipper of kumquats in the United States a number of years ago when I participated in the annual Florida Folk Festival. The ladies from Dade City shared their amazing kumquat pie with festival goers – that recipe is also on-line. The 2022 annual kumquat festival is already planned!

Hunter’s Chicken

Moroccan Chicken with Paprika

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