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Summer Chicken with Peas and Potatoes

This recipe is a melding of one of DW's oldies-but-goodies collection and one from the cookbook, A Taste of Romania, along with modifications and additions of my own.  It can be summarized as a braised chicken dish with a sour cream sauce.  It's a bit of work, but the results are truly delicious.  As for why it's called "summer chicken," I have no clue.  I can only say that it's because that's what DW had named it years ago.  I may modify recipes, but I also know which lines are best not crossed :)  Served with a salad and crusty bread, it's enough for four.

1-3 to 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces (see notes)
5 medium russet potatoes, cut into 1-2" cubes
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1" pieces
1-10 ounce package frozen green peas
8 ounces whole button mushrooms
  cup sour cream
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons AP flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon bacon fat
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
cup chopped fresh parsley
Poultry Rub  
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
teaspoon dried tarragon
teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon paprika
3 cloves garlic, pressed
Salt & pepper to taste

Make the poultry rub:  combine the garlic and salt using a mortar and pestle, and work together until a paste is formed.  Add all the remaining rub ingredients and combine well.  Rub the chicken pieces thoroughly with the rub, and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 200.  Place a large platter (or 2 separate serving dishes, one for the chicken and one for the veggies) into the oven to warm (see notes).

Combine the sour cream and flour and set aside.

In a skillet large enough to hold to hold the chicken and potatoes, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat.  Brown the chicken pieces well, 3-4 minutes on each side.  Remove the chicken to a warm platter and return to the oven.

In the same skillet heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, and brown the potatoes on all sides.  Return the chicken to the skillet with the potatoes arranging so that the chicken is on the bottom.  Add the broth (this will allow the pan to deglaze), cover the skillet and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Braise the chicken and potatoes for 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken and veggies to a platter (or separate dishes) and return to the oven to keep warm.  Drain the braising liquid into a bowl and set aside.

Bring the skillet back up to temperature over medium heat and add the bacon grease.  Add the mushrooms and scallions and cook just until the mushrooms begin to give up their moisture, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the green peas and continue to cook until the peas are heated through.  Remove the veggies to the platter with the potatoes.

At this time add the braising liquid back to the skillet.  Add the sour cream mixture and stir to combine.  Allow the sauce to heat and thicken, adding a little water if the sauce is too thick.  At this point adjust the sauce for salt and pepper.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and veggies.  Sprinkle everything with lemon juice and chopped parsley before serving.

Notes:

  1. You may brine the chicken if you wish, or use a koshered chicken.  I find the koshered chickens by Empire State are fantastic and do no t require brining.  I find them at Trader Joe's.
  2. I like to serve this dish on a single large platter.  I arrange the chicken around the outside and pile the veggies in the middle.  It's easy to serve and makes a very nice presentation.

 

 

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