Saturday, March 05, 2005

Chicken with Sherry Vinegar Sauce and Brown Butter Orzo "Risotto" Posted by Hello

Last night I made this for dinner. We especially liked the "Risotto". This meal was easy to make and not that time consuming. Both recipes come from a cook book that I do not use that often: A New Way To Cook by Sally Schneider. The recipes in this book are simple and healthful, but often call for ingredients that I dont have.

"Although chicken au vinaigre is said to be of Lyonnaise origin, recipes for this delicious combination appear elsewhere throughout France, as well as in Spain, where it is made with sherry vinegar. Here the assertively flavored vinegar cooks slowly with sherry and plum tomatoes into a rich, concentrated sauce with very little fat. It is execellent for dinner parties because you can double or triple the quantities with ease, make it days ahead, or even freeze it. Serve it with Brown Butter Orzo "Risotto" ."

One 3-pound chicken, skinned and cut into 8 pieces for sauteing- I used a pkg of precut chicken pieces.
3/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 T all purpose flour
1 T plus 1 tsp olive oil- I used a little butter with the olive oil
1/4 cup plus 2 T finely chopped shallots- I used chopped garlic and minced onion
2/3 cup medium sweet sherry or dry sherry mixed with 1 T honey
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1-11/2 tsp sugar
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup drained and coursely chopped peeled plum tomatoes
1 T Dijon mustard

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then sprinkle evenly with 3/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Spread the flour on a dinner plate and roll the pieces in the flour to coat evenly; tap off excess.

Pour 2 tsp of the oil into a large heavy skillet and heat over moderate heat until hot. Saute the chicken, in batches, until golden, about 3 minutes on each side, adding more oil by the tsp as necessary. Transfer the chicken to a platter.

Reduce heat to moderately low and add the shallots to the pan. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat slightly, and saute the shallots until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the sherry and increase the heat to moderately high, stirring up bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for 4 minutes until reduced by about half. Stir in sherry vinegar and sugar and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer, until reduced by half. Stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes, mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken, partially cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm.

Simmer sauce until it is slightly thickened and the flavors are rich and mellow, about 10 minutes. Return chicken to the pan and heat through, then serve.


"Orzo, whose name means "barley" in Italian, is a delicate rice-shaped pasta that is usually served as a side dish in place of a grain. When cooked with a little more liquid than customary, it gains a creamy quality similar to risotto, in a fraction of the time. Toasting the orzo in a small amount of brown butter before boiling it gives it a buttery, slightly nutty flavor. Serve this orzo risotto as a side dish for saucy dishes."

1 T butter
8 ounces (1 1/3 cups) orzo
3 1/2 cups water
1 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

In a medium heavy saucepan, cook the butter over moderately low heat until the solids that sink to the bottom are golden brown and the butter smells like roasting nuts. Add the orzo, increase the heat to moderate, and saute, stirring constantly, until the orzo is golden and about one third of the grains are dark brown. Stir in the water and salt and bring to a boil. Cook at a low boil until the orzo is tender and most of the water has evaporated, about 11 minutes. There should be a light creamy "sauce" binding the orzo and making it slightly soupy. Add pepper to taste and serve it at once.

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