Monday, April 18, 2011

Smothered Chicken

This is #10 on my list over there on the right. I made a version of this when Phil and I were living in Italy and I was still really new to cooking regularly. I found this recipe to be almost overwhelming. I am pretty sure I overcooked the chicken and just about burned the gravy as it bubbled all over our stove. I wanted to give this recipe another try to see if my ability to manage something like this has improved. It has. Majorly! This wasn't even the most stressful recipe I made this week! The benefits of time and experience at work.
It was pretty good but I can't imagine we'll make this too often. I also wasn't a big fan of the biscuits in this recipe. I think it could have been improved quite a bit by using a bigger fluffier biscuit like these. Here is the recipe I used, though.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole chicken fryer, cut into pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 tablespoon Paula’s House Seasoning
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup water
2 cups self-rising flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
For the chicken:
Heat the oil in skillet over medium heat.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Combine the flour and House Seasoning in a shallow dish. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and add to the hot oil. Brown the chicken on each side and remove from skillet. Add the vegetables to the skillet and saute until tender. Return the chicken to the pan and add a 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook until tender, approximately 25 minutes.
For the biscuits:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar and shortening. Stir in the milk and mix together until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
The dough will be sticky. Dust your work surface with additional flour. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Gently fold each side toward the center. Picking up the dough and dusting the work surface with additional flour. Return the dough to the floured surface and fold each side towards the center again. Turn the dough over and press it out to a 1-inch thickness. Cut out biscuits, using a 2-inch round cookie cutter.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Spread 1 tablespoon on a 10-inch round cake pan and arrange the biscuits in the pan. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the remaining butter and set the pan aside to rest for 15 minutes before baking. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve with the chicken.

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