phynedyning

Russian-style Baked Chicken and Potatoes

In Recipies on July 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

After a few days of grilled veggies and meats, Shabbat found us wanting something a bit different.

I consulted my draft copy of Shabbat in One Pot.

Yes, I know I forgot to wipe down the plate!

The recipe for Russian-style Baked Chicken and Potatoes caught my eye.  The recipe is delightfully simple and even makes use of a seasoning blend available from Penzey’s Spice Company rather than individual herbs and spices.

The seasoning blend is called, Tsardust Memories Russian Style Seasoning.

The label lists its ingredients as salt, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, and marjoram.  The blend is great on meats of all kinds and it renders an almost cake-like flavor to potatoes.

I decided on some simple buttered green beans with red pepper accents as an accompaniment.

The main-dish is simple and easy.  You will need:

2 chicken quarters or four thighs, skin removed if you like

2 VERY large russet baking potatoes or 4 normal-size potatoes

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 TBS vegetable oil

1 and ½ tsp Penzey’s Tsardust Memories Seasoning

½ tsp paprika

salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Pour the oil into a large Dutch oven or roasting pan and swirl it about to thoroughly coat the bottom and the sides.  Generously sprinkle about one teaspoon of the Tsardust over the chicken pieces placed in the bottom of the Dutch oven.  Cover chicken pieces with sliced onion.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Reduce oven to 350F, turn the chicken over, and dust it with a bit more of the Tsardust.  Place the potatoes in the juices, turning them several times to coat them with the juices.  Sprinkle the remaining Tsardust on the potatoes and give them a couple twists of freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle them with the paprika.  Cover and return to the oven for one hour, checking every 20 minutes to be sure the pan does not dry out (it won’t).  Remove from the oven and check for doneness using an instant-read meat thermometer.  If the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 180F, the meat is done.

While the chicken is baking, prepare the green beans.  The bit of lemon zest in the recipe makes the flavors of the peppers and beans “pop”.  Here, you will need:

1 pound fresh green beans, strings removed

½ red, sweet pepper cut in thin strips

¼ C chopped sweet onion

¼ C margarine (Heart Smart pareve if desired)

1 tsp lemon zest

½ tsp dried marjoram

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a medium non-stick skillet over low-medium heat.  Melt the margarine and then add all of the ingredients at once.  Cook for about fifteen minutes.  If the pan sizzles, reduce the heat.  Overcooking the dish washes out the beautiful colors in it and leaves the veggies limp.  This is a dish where “longer” is better than “hotter”.  As a result, the veggies come out with a bit of crispness and with a wonderfully herbed butter flavor.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.

These are great recipe combos for Shabbat dinners when you have guests to attend.  They are so simple that you will have time for visiting with a minimum number of dashes to the kitchen.

In the home of the Phyne Dyner, guests congregate in the kitchen to watch the show.  It is part of the way I hope to encourage others to take up the apron of a home chef and serve meals at home that would be worth paying for in a restaurant.

Enjoy!

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