- 6 to 8 whole chicken legs, if possible Amish or free-range type, depending on the size of the legs and the apetite of the dinners. Separate drumsticks from the thighs at the joint.
- 2 teaspoons of dried oregano (I use Trader's Joe's)
- 3 teaspoons of unsalted organic garlic powder (I use a Californian one from Trader's Joe)
- The juice of one big fresh lemon
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups of dry white wine (I use Shaw's sauvignon blanc from Trader's Joe)
- Freshly ground pepper from the mill
Preheat you oven-broiler to 475 degrees.
Cut the drumstick from the thighs (it is very easy to do with a good Wüsthof butcher's knife like the one you bought me for Christmas 4 years ago, but your butcher will be glad to do that for you if you prefer).
Remove the extra tiny layer of yellow fat at the base of the thigh next to the skin and trim loose pieces of skin and (optional) some stringy membranes covering the thigh meat on the opposite side of the skin.
Dry the pieces thoroughly with paper towels and make sure there is no moisture left on the skin.
Put the pieces, alternating drumsticks and thighs, skin up, in a long earthenware or pyrex, in any case flame resistant, rectangular dish about 2 1/2 inch deep and at least 16 inches long.
Sprinkle each piece first generously with garlic powder, and then with oregano flakes. Add salt and fresly ground pepper. Pour the lemon juice, preferably from one of those glass lemon squeezers, all over the pieces.Add olive oil to cover each piece.
Pour one cup of white wine between each piece. Keep the other cup 1/2 and add it every 10 minutes during the cooking.
Lower the oven temperature to 450 degrees and put your dish, uncovered, under the broiler. After 10 minutes, baste the pieces with the cooking juice with the help of a long spoon. After 10 more minutes get the dish out and delicately, so that you do not crack the slightly blackened skin in the juice, turn each piece to the other side. Baste again and add some wine. 10 minutes later baste gain and add some wine if necessary. The whole think should be cooked in 40 minutes. You can check with an instant thermometer that you implant in the thickest part of the thigh that the temperature has reached 170 or 175 degrees.
Serve over steamed rice (white or brown) or penne or pasta (I use Barilla's) cooked for 10 minutes in salted boiling water.
SPAGHETTI A LA PROVENCALE
For 4 people:
Preparation: 30 minute
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- One package of Thin Spaghetti (I prefer the Italian brand BARILLA)
- 2 large peeled yellow onions, chopped
- 5 large cloves of garlic, peeled and diced. Remove central grenish sprout if any before dicing.
- 4 sprigs of fresh tyme or 1 1/2 table spoon of dried thyme.
- 10 or 12 pitted Calamata black olives, rinsed several times in cold water
- One jar of Tomato basil sauce (I buy the Classico brand- 1.99 $ at Target)
- 1/2 Lb of ground round beef
- 4 or 5 medium-size very fresh and clean white mushrooms (sliced)2 tablespoon of Italian tomato paste. I like the imported Italian paste in aluminum soft tubes.
- 1/2 a cup of extra-Virgin first cold-pressed olive oil (a Spanish or Greek one will do fine)
- Half a bottle of a dry rosé wine like a ''Vieille Ferme'' rosé, a Coteaux Varois rosé, or a cheaper Côtes de Thongue rosé. If you want to go a little fancier, get a bottle of Costières de Nimes rosé.
- 1 large bay leaf
- 10 pitted medium-size Greek Calamata black
- Salt and pepper
- half a teaspoon of cayene pepper
Cooking the sauce
Chop onions and dice garlic, then gently sauté them together with a teaspoon of thyme in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, in an 11 or 12 inches ''Calphalon'' or other good quality non-stick pan for about 12 to 14 minutes at relatively low heat. They should not brown, but become soft and translucent.
If mushrooms are clean and very young, lightly brush them to remove any leftover dirt, cut the stem halfay and slice them. If they are not clean, have some dirt, and the stem is brownish and getting spongeous, cut 80% of the stem and gently peel the outer skin of the cap with a sharp small knife starting from underneath , close to the stem. Then slice them. Save them on a plate for later.
Sauté the ground beef in a small pan in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, stir it all the time with a fork to transform the beef chunks in tiny little balls. Remove the oil and water left over after cooking is completed. The ground beef should be gray and not red anymore. Save on a plate but do not refrigerate.
Pour the tomato sauce from the jar into the pan where the onion and garlic has been cooked, add the bayleaf, stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Add 1 cup of rose wine and stir well . Add 2 tablespoons of the tomato paste, stir well. Cook uncovered over low heat for about 8 minutes, then add the sliced mushrooms. Cook for 5 more minutes then add the meat and the olives. Then season with 4 rounds of the pepper mill and 2 pinches of salt. Add the cayenne pepper. stir. Cook uncovered very gently for 10 more minutes.
Cooking the pasta.
While preparing the sauce, boil 5 quarts of water in a high stainless-steel pot, like a pasta cooker. When water is boiling add one tablespoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of salt in the water. Put in a little more than 3/4 of the content of the box (or the whole box if you are very hungry) of spaghetti and immediately stir the pasta with a big spaghetti special-dented spoon so that they do not stick together. When they are all separated bring back to a boil and count about 9 to 11 minutes for '' al dente'' .
Pour the pasta in a colander and then in a big round bowl, add a table spoon of olive oil and stir well. Add the sauce on top of the pasta and stir well.
And that's it.