Roast Chicken Piccata-Style
Roast chicken is one of life's simpler pleasures,
and because I am so enamored with it, I am always on
the lookout for new and interesting ways to cook it.
Piccata usually refers to thin cutlets served with a
lemony sauce, but for this I use partially boned
chickens-and boning the birds is the only difficult
part of the recipe. But you can have your butcher do
it. Everything else is straightforward. I love the
flavors of lemon, capers, and a good confetti of
parsley with the roast chicken-a simple pleasure
made even more gratifying when cooked this way.
Two 3-pound whole chickens
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Clarified Butter (page 147) or vegetable oil
2 lemons, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons drained capers
juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Split the chickens in half and remove the breast
section of one half with the wing attached. Leave
the skin between the breast and the leg attached,
cracking the thigh joint of the chicken and cutting
through to separate the leg from the body while it
remains attached to the breast by a thin strip of
skin. Remove the drumstick completely, trying to
leave as much skin from the leg intact as possible.
Make an incision in the thigh along the thigh bone
and remove the thigh bone. Repeat on the other side
and with both chickens. Ask your butcher to do this
for you, if you like. (Reserve the drumsticks and
carcass for stocks.)
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
4. Heat 2 large ovenproof sauce pans over
medium-high heat. Put 1/4 cup of clarified butter or
oil in each pan and cook the chicken halves, skin
side down, for about 4 minutes. Transfer the pans to
the oven and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the
chicken is cooked through. Remove the chickens from
the pans and let them rest for about 5 minutes.
5. Put the lemon slices in the pans and let them
cook over high heat for about 1 minute so that they
caramelize. Add the wine and cook, stirring with a
wooden spoon and scraping up any browned bits, for 2
to 3 minutes, until reduced by half.
6. Add the unsalted butter and capers and stir the
sauce to emulsify the butter with the pan juices.
Squeeze the lemon juice into the sauce, remove from
the heat, and continue stirring until blended. Stir
in the parsley. Put a chicken half on each serving
plate, skin side up, and spoon equal amounts of
sauce over each. Serve immediately.
The sommelier recommends---
Lemon, butter, and capers are the ultimate white
wine accoutrements, and the rule is not excepted
here. Choose a fuller-bodied style of wine,
enveloped in oak, and your meal will be perfectly
matched. Chardonnay is the obvious grape to choose,
but these days winemakers are doing Chardonnay-like
things to other grapes. Vie di Romans in Friuli
makes an oak aged Pinot Grigio called "Dessimus."
Roasted Parmesan-Creamed Onions
Talk about succulent! The yellow onions are pretty
pungent when you slice them, but surrender their
kick when they are roasted and become sweet and
tender. When they reach this point, the cream sauce
is poured over them, they are topped with shaved
cheese, and then the whole thing is returned to the
oven for a slow melt. I like to cook these in a wood
oven to get some smoke on them, which makes them
even better-if that's possible. Great with chicken,
lamb, beef-you name it! I also like it served as a
4 medium yellow onions
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (about 2
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Slice the onions into 1/4-inch-thick rings and
lay them in a shallow baking pan, such as a sheet
pan or jelly roll pan. Drizzle with the olive oil
and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast for
15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the cream
and wine to a simmer over medium-high heat. As soon
as the liquid starts to bubble around the edges,
remove from the heat.
4. Spoon about a tablespoon of the cream mixture
over each onion slice. Cover with aluminum foil,
return to the oven, and cook for about 25 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 450°F.
5. Remove the foil and top the onions with the
shaved cheese. Return the pan to the oven and cook
for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the edges caramelize.
Peaches in Red Wine with Whipped Mascarpone
I love peaches. White or yellow, as long as they are
ripe and juicy, I am there! I like peaches eaten out
of hand, or cooked, as in this recipe. Other stone
fruits are on my list of favorites, and so I use
this recipe to make the most of the summer's bumper
crop of nectarines and plums, too. Here I suggest
serving the peaches with whipped mascarpone, which
is lush and decadent, but they would be fantastic
with ice cream, too.
4 ripe peaches
2 cups dry red wine
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high
heat. Drop the peaches in the water and boil for 6
or 7 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and let
the peaches rest for about 30 seconds before peeling
the skin with a small paring knife. It will slip
right off. Halve each peach and remove and discard
2. In a saucepan, combine the wine, brown sugar, and
thyme. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the
sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and bring to
a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the
poaching liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency.
3. Put the peach halves in a shallow dish, pour the
warm wine over them, cover, and let stand for 4 to
12 hours. If the peach halves are not completely
covered with wine, turn them after 2 hours. Turn
them several more times during soaking if left in
the wine for longer than 4 hours.
4. Using a wire whisk, whip the cheese until the
consistency is smoother, lighter, and creamier. Fold
in the granulated sugar and lemon zest.
Put 2 peach halves in each of 4 serving bowls and
spoon a little of the liquid over them. Top each
with the toasted walnuts and a dollop of cheese.
Note: To toast the walnuts, spread them in a small,
dry baking pan in a 300°F oven for 5 to 15 minutes.
Shake the pan now and then to prevent burning and to
turn the nuts. The nuts are done when they are
fragrant and a shade darker. Transfer to a plate to