My mother has been making a lot of great one skillet meals for dinner. She just looks in the fridge pulls out whatever meat and vegetables she has and sautes them without any seasonings, except a little salt and pepper. I walked into her kitchen the other night and it smelled so good. She was “frying” (as she calls it) in a little olive oil, chunks of pork tenderloin, strips of poblano peppers and summer squash. It was DELICIOUS! She had some bread on the side. Last night she sauteed thin pieces of sirloin, fresh spinach and mushrooms. Again, it was great. It made me start thinking about how easy it is to cook something, healthy, without all the bells and whistles, in a jiffy, and have it taste amazing.
My chicken fricassee is a quick, one skillet meal that is perfect for a weeknight dinner, but could also be served to guest on the weekend!
Here is the recipe:
4 pieces of chicken with bone and skin (thighs, breasts, drumsticks-your choice!)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 spanish onion, peeled and cut into one inch chunks
1 large carrot or 2 small, cut into 1 inch chunks (I used 2 cups of baby carrots)
2 cups of new potatoes, cut in half if small or quarters if large
1 cup chicken stock (you can use water)
1 28oz can italian peeled tomatoes, crushed with your hands as you add them to skillet
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons smoked spanish paprika (you can substitute with regular paprika)
1 bay leaf
1 cup pitted green olives with pimentos
1/2 cup currants or raisins
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro for garnish
1. Heat oil in skillet until very hot but not smoking. Add chicken pieces skin side down. Don’t touch! If you try to turn too early, skin will stick to skillet, so just leave it alone! Cook for 5 minutes skin side down and check to see if skin is golden brown. Turn and cook for 5 minutes on the other side. Take chicken out of skillet and set aside.
2. Add the onions, carrots and potatoes to skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, cumin, paprika, bay leaf and stock. Let it come to a boil and add chicken pieces back into skillet. Try to bury the chicken under the sauce. Cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. (you could stop at this point, refrigerate and keep for another night-heat on low flame until simmering then go on to next step)
3. Add olives and currants, cover and cook 5 more minutes until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through. Serve.