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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Smokin' Hot Hash

I am sick of cooking and let me tell you something.  This is a big problem for a person who writes a food blog.  Not just big, it's a huge problem.  So, like updating my spring wardrobe, it appears that my dinner repertoire needs a bit of a sprucing up too.

I have pored over cookbooks that I never use and have come up with some nice things to make in the coming weeks.  Today in The New York Times, Melissa Clark had a nice sounding recipe for an artichoke dish.  If I can just overcome my fear of cooking artichokes, that sounds like something to try too.  I'm looking beyond the tried and tried again recipes and getting creative.  I feel the spark coming back, even as we speak.

Sometimes the good ideas present themselves on a silver platter.  Or in the case of this recipe, on the Food Network.  As much as I love Ina Garten and her Barefoot Contessa cooking show, I am convinced that there are about 15 episodes and they just show them over and over.  But yesterday Ina made something I'd never seen her make before: Basil Chicken Hash.  And what's more, it looked really good.

So, this morning in an enthusiastic flurry of activity, I zipped over to the grocery store to pick up my ingredients.  I know it's hard to believe but I didn't have one potato in this house nor did I have chicken breasts on deck in the freezer.  I told you that I've been in a bit of a cooking lull.  Now do you believe me?  Who doesn't have potatoes in their house?

The recipe was easy enough although it used just about every pot and pan I had.  The chicken had to be cooked in the oven, and two pans were required for the actual cooking of the hash.  Messy but worth it.  Apparently Truman Capote made this hash for his Black and White Ball.  If it's good enough for Truman and his guests, it's certainly good enough for me.  Now all I needed were the masks and maybe a "tablescape"!

Recipe:  Basil Chicken Hash
(Ina Garten)


2 whole (4 split) chicken breasts, bone in and skin on
16 basil leaves
Olive oil
Kosher salt
2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and large diced
2 red onions, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 mined scallions, white and green parts
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet.  Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving one side attached.  Place 4 basil leaves under the skin of each breast.  Pull the skin over as much of the meat as possible so the chicken won't dry out.  With your hands, rub each piece with olive oil and sprinkle very generously with salt and pepper.  Bake the chicken for 35 - 40 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned and the chicken is just cooked through.  Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones.  Cut the chicken in large dice and set aside.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan.  Add the potatoes and onions, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until evenly browned and cooked through.

In a separate saute pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.  Add the red peppers, garlic, thyme, paprika, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the edges of the peppers are seared.

Add the chicken and the pepper mixture to the potatoes and heat through.  Add the scallions and the parsley, toss together and place on a serving platter.

1 comment:

  1. Have I told you lately how much I LOVE this blog!!! It is always the sunshine of my inbox! I mean, who else could make me want to make hash!! Thanks Nadine! Keep 'em coming!!