Winner Winner Ginzo Chicken Dinner


Grandma’s Chicken In The Oven (also known to my friends as Ginzo Fried Chicken) With Roasted Purple Potatoes, Parsnips & Arugula

*Recipe follows story

Closing out the year in noms feels pretty big, at least for me.  

This year was bananas with a side of bananas - but I’m not making any noms with bananas…

No.

This is about chicken - the title and the pictures say so…
And don’t let all of my food cues in the next few paragraphs throw you off - this is still going to end in a chicken recipe… 

A few months ago, my uncle passed away.  Uncle Anthony is an undeniably bright and beautiful piece of my world.  He’d always say: “Tinamarie, I wish I could do the things you do.”  He’d always call me, in the middle of the work day, and my phone would be blinking Uncle Anthony, Uncle Anthony - when I was supposed to be paying attention in a meeting.  He made me laugh, he introduced me to disco, he made me want to dance.  He loved me and my brothers with intensity.  He loved food.  He loved holidays and only ever wanted to be with his family.  

He made it to Queens for Sunday dinner, only once, with my brother Louis.  Uncle Anthony didn’t like driving alone, always afraid he’d get lost - even though he lived in New York his whole life.  I made Sunday gravy and peas and potatoes (one of my grandmas specialties).  He said: This is better than mommy’s sauce and maybe even as good as grandmas - but don’t tell anyone I said that.

I never said a word to my mom, but now you all know…
Uncle Anthony loved my sauce.  

And, I wish I could write this without crying.
And I wish I didn’t see a short chubby old man- in the market - filling his cart to the top - with what could only be considered an obscene amount of Panettone cake.

I took one look at this man and cried.  I pictured my dad and uncle, on Christmas morning, cutting fat slices of Panettone and pouring rum on top.

I almost wanted to take a picture of Panettone and call it a day…

But when I thought about something I wanted to make for him, I thought of this finger lickin’ chicken my grandma would make.  I pictured a heaping side of my grandma’s peas and potatoes to go with it, but I didn’t go there.  Instead, I went with purple potatoes, parsnips and arugula…

Uncle Anthony wouldn’t have gone for that…

He would’ve, eventually, since there was still starch involved, but it would’ve taken some calculated convincing and sassy swindling on my part.  Like the time I got him to go with me for Japanese food by telling him we could have deep fried ice cream for dessert.  After that, he was sold.

He, however, was not sold when he saw a t-shirt that said WATAWA on it - and my father, brother and I protested the purchase of yet another ridiculous t-shirt to add to his out of control collection.

I’m wishing we bought him the shirt - or that I could’ve surprised him with it this Christmas.

He’d bitch about these potatoes and parsnips, but I would’ve broken him.

I would’ve done anything for one last Sunday dinner with him in Queens.

Grandma’s Chicken In The Oven (also known to my friends as Ginzo Fried Chicken) With Roasted Purple Potatoes, Parsnips & Arugula

1 pack of chicken legs (mixed drumsticks and thighs are fine too - about 8 medium sized pieces)
2-3 cloves garlic minced
2 T. parsley (dried or fresh is fine)
2/3 sprigs fresh rosemary (dried is also fine - about 1 1/2 -2 T. will do)
6 leaves fresh basil (chiffonade)
1 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 T. red wine vinegar 
1 T. olive oil
1/3 c. plain bread crumbs 
1-2 T. butter

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Place chicken parts in a bowl, add garlic, all herbs (dried or fresh), salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil and toss/coat chicken very well
-Sprinkle bread crumbs over top (bread crumbs will absorb all liquid) and coat chicken
-Lay chicken out in a roasting pan - be sure to place any bits of the bread crumb coating on the chicken, as the goodness should not go to waste
-Pat with butter on top and roast for 35 minutes
-Once chicken is cooked through, finish off in the broiler for 3-5 minutes (watch well so it doesn’t burn) so bread crumbs darken and chicken fat crisps
-Remove chicken from pan and place on a dish
-Put pan with drippings and all fat bits off to the side (you’re going to roast your potatoes and parsnips in there - recipe below!)

For Roasted Purple Potatoes and Parsnips With Arugula

4 purple potatoes (quartered)
2 large parsnips (cut in to 1/4” thick rounds)
1 T. olive oil
Kosher salt and extra herbs (if you think it’s necessary - base on drippings in your pan)

-Oven should be put on 400 degrees
-Place potatoes and parsnips in same pan you used to roast your chicken
-Toss potatoes and parsnips well and add extra olive oil, salt and herbs if it seems necessary (trust your judgement)
-Pop in the oven and roast vegetables for 35-40 minutes
-Give potatoes and parsnips a good turn at the 20 minute mark
-Once potatoes and parsnips are done, toss arugula in (it will naturally wilt from the heat), then transfer chicken pieces on top and warm in the oven for another 10-15 minutes
-Place all of the roasted goodness on a platter and serve

Friday, December 24, 2010 — 1 note   ()
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