18 March 2015
Chicken in wine with onions and herbs
John went to Vancouver this past weekend for a conference. I stayed here. You know what that means: I got to cook and eat whatever I wanted! Which I could totally do when he is here, and often do. Actually, HE frequently cooks me whatever I want when he's here too. So basically what I'm saying is that I had the exact same thing I would probably have had were he here, except that I was a little more excited about making it myself. Hey, that works for me. Food is exciting; the sense of "ZOMG I CAN HAVE ANYTHING" makes it more exciting, even if it isn't technically true.
Anyway. I made myself a nice pan of chicken and onions in wine, and it was excellent.
I got this recipe years ago from...someone on the internet. Who? That's a good question. The print date on the bottom of the page is February 13, 2003, which means I've been making this for a good twelve years. Let's just say that if you came to a dinner party at our house when John was in grad school and I was just out, you probably ate this chicken and a red pepper stuffed with risotto and baked. Also something green of which I have no recollection. Yes.
This is an especially nice dish to have in your back pocket because it is delicious and low-effort. It's very easily scalable to any amount of chicken. The ingredients are cheap, especially if you use dry vermouth instead of expensive white wine and break down your own chicken instead of buying skinless, boneless chicken breasts. And once the pan is in the oven, you get to anticipate future deliciousness as the smell of onions simmering in wine wafts through your house. A win all around.
Chicken in wine with onions and herbs
yellow or white onion
thyme, marjoram, paprika, salt, pepper
chicken pieces of your choosing (I used two deboned chicken thighs)
chopped fresh parsley
butter or olive oil
white wine, dry vermouth, or other cooking alcohol of your choice
Start by preheating your oven to 450F.
Slice up enough onions to make a good half-inch thick layer in a casserole dish big enough to hold all your chicken. I used an entire medium yellow onion, which was more than enough for my two puny chicken thighs. Half would have been fine, but I like onion, so I went for it.
Sprinkle a generous dusting of thyme, marjoram (or sub oregano), paprika, salt, and pepper over your onions. We were out of paprika, so I used some hot New Mexico chile flake instead.
Put your chicken pieces on top of the onion and season with a little more salt and paprika. Cover with a good handful of chopped fresh parsley.
Add your oil or butter and wine to the pan. You want the liquid to be about half an inch deep, or just cresting the layer of onions. I used about 1/2 cup of olive oil and 3/4 cup of dry vermouth, and dotted some extra butter over the top for good measure. If you're cooking more chicken, increase accordingly.
Bake your pan of chicken and onions at 450F for 30 minutes, basting with the pan liquid once or twice. Then turn the temperature down to 325F and continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until your chicken is completely cooked and your onions are golden and braised and lovely.
Serve your completed chicken and onions, plus a spoonful or two of pan juices, over a spoonful of rice, a scoop of mashed potatoes (recommended), or another starch of your choice. Cauliflower rice/etc. should also be just fine here. I actually ate my chicken and onions by themselves, since I was feeling too lazy to make mashed potatoes. That worked too.
A salad or other green vegetable is a must on the side. That way you can drag pieces of lettuce through the delightful onion and wine juices. So good.
Leftovers are super easy to use, because the overall dish is so simple. Just cut up your chicken and onions and put them in anything you want. I made a plateful of scrambled eggs with chicken, onions, some leftover brown rice, and a handful of parsley, and it was excellent. Adding chopped chicken and onion to quesadillas or burritos is also an excellent plan.
What do you cook when you have nothing to consider but your own personal tastes?