Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Dinner

It is Sunday night and the Über Skillet is coming out for duty: Heir Skillet is a 16 inch, weapons-grade-cast-iron-cooking-mo-sheen. This pan puts a really nice sear on just about anything that goes in it. Tonight's mission: Pan roasted chicken with pesto and spaghetti squash.

For the pan roasted chicken:
A couple of thighs and drumsticks, bone-in and skin on, generously salted and peppered are laid skin side down in a medium-hot skillet with a bit of oil. I cooked them for about five minutes to brown. After I resisted the urge to "check" the chicken by prodding/attempting to flip/tong-ing or otherwise molesting the birdy-bits, I added some rough-chopped mushrooms, garlic, some herbage and put whole skillet in to a 350-degree oven. I gave it about 15-20 minutes to cook - depending on the size of the chicken bits. Once the chicken is cooked, I pulled the pan out, removed the chicken and mushrooms, poured off a bit of the fat in the pan and then de-glazed with a bit of white wine. Once the wine reduced a bit, I put the mushrooms back in, along with a spoonful of pesto to heat.

For the pesto, I used 1/2 cup each of: fresh basil, walnuts, grated Parmesan, and olive oil - all pulsed in the food pro. The spaghetti squash was simply roasted ahead of time in a hot oven and "shredded" and kept warm in a sauce pan.

To serve, I put down a spoonful of squash as a base, along with a piece of chicken and topped with the now warm pesto and mushrooms. The Über Skillet did a great job as usual.

For the record, I love cooking chicken this way - skin on, and pan roasted. It almost always turns out moist - and with a deliciously looking roasty-brown skin. I have all but sworn off boneless/skinless chicken breasts for most applications. As for variations on this theme, I have also made the dish with artichoke hearts and a buerre blanc - as well as traditional pan gravy.

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