This chicken dish was simple to put together, but it didn’t end up being too special. I think it’s a good idea, but maybe the fresh oregano would have made a difference (I used dried). I also shied away from using much cayenne, because I didn’t want it to overwhelm the chicken, but it didn’t really come through much. I probably wouldn’t make this one again.
Pollo alla Calabrese (Baked Chicken with Potatoes, Tomtoes, and Hot Pepper
My Calabria – Rosetta Costantino
Serves 4 to 6
3 pounds (1 1/2 kilograms) bone-in chicken legs and thighs, trimmed of all visible fat
3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds (675 grams) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, cut into 2-inch (5-centimeter) chunks
3/4 pound (340 grams) ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch (2 1/2-centimeter) chunks
1 large yellow onion, halved and cut into 1/2-inch thick (12-millimeter-thick) slices
3 garlic cloves, halved
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 cup (60 milliliters) extra virgin olive oil
Ground hot pepper
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and position a rack on the lower level. Season the chicken all over with 2 teaspoons of the salt and several grinds of black pepper.
Put the potatoes, tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a baking dish large enough to hold the chicken in one layer. (A 9- by 13-inch/23- by 33-centimeter glass or ceramic baking dish works well.) Sprinkle the vegetables with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Place the chicken in the baking dish, add the oregano (crumbling the dried oregano, if using, between your fingers as you add it), and drizzle with the oil. With your hands, toss the chicken and vegetables to coat them thoroughly with the seasonings. Then remake the bed of vegetables, arranging the chicken on top, skin side up. Sprinkle the chicken with hot pepper to taste.
Place the baking dish in the oven on the bottom rack and bake until the skin is crisp and golden, 30 to 45 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and continue baking until the chicken juices run clear, the potatoes are tender, and most of the pan juices have been absorbed, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately, spooning the remaining pan juices over the chicken.
Big Flavors Rating: 3 Stars