Chef's Choice Recipes: Vito Racanelli's Calabrese Chicken and Rice

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Robin Wheeler
Vito Racanelli of Onesto Pizza and Trattoria
As I wrote in my profile of Vito Racanelli, the chef's food passion lies in the home cooking of his 71-year-old mother, who still cans her own tomatoes every summer. Don't skimp on the fresh flat-leaf parsley. The herb's the predominant seasoning in the Calabria region of Italy, where Racanelli's mother is from. If tomatoes aren't in season, opt for a high-quality canned version, like San Remo.

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Robin Wheeler
Calabrese Chicken and Rice

Serves 8

1 1/2 cups white rice
2 carrots, small dice
2 celery stalks, small dice
1 onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
3 cups chicken stock
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a 9" x 13" oven-safe dish, combine rice, vegetables, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken pieces on top of rice mixture. Cover with foil.

3. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking until skin is brown and thighs are cooked through, about 15 minutes depending on the size of the chicken.

Robin Wheeler writes the blog Poppy Mom. She is a regular contributor to Gut Check, including the columns The Dive Bomber and Throwback of the House.
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