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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Osso Buco-Style Chicken

 Osso Buco-Style Chicken

              Osso Buco-Style Chicken
by Victoria Challancin

Thirty years later I can still remember the first time I prepared Osso Buco.  It was for a dinner party comprised of the loveliest group of international friends and colleagues who taught with me at university in Bahrain.  Crossing fingers, I prepared the dish with love and gusto (the only way!), pleased to see it disappear with a round of oohs and aahs, the sound every cook listens for in her heart.  The crowning touch was when I saw my dear friend Naz, the loveliest, most gentle, friend imaginable, eyeing the veal bone, denuded and lonely on my plate at the end of the main meal.  "Vicki," she gently asked, "do you think I could have your bone?"  Did I hear right?  Naz, the most refined and cultured of women, asking for the picked-over bone on my plate????  She then explained how when she was a child in the newly formed Pakistan, her grandmother would sit her on her knee and feed her, using a specially designed long silver spoon to coax the delectable marrow from the inside of cooked bones.  I was touched.  It wasn't the mangled corpse of a bone Naz was after, it was the untouched marrow I had callously overlooked.  Well, I can tell you, I don't overlook it anymore!

Ossobuco, a Milanese specialty, actually comes from the Italian osso buco, which means "bone with a hole" or "hollow bone."  Traditionally, it is served with gremolata, a chopped condiment of parsley, lemon zest, and garlic, as well as with a Milanese-style risotto.  The bone in question is a cross cut veal shank, which leaves the marrow exposed and easily accessible to discerning diners.  Cheap and flavorful, the veal shanks are braised with tomatoes and wine and garnished with fresh, sharp gremolata. 

Mexico, too, has its favorite dishes featuring bone marrow, which is called tuétano.  Here, bones are often roasted for their marrow, which is then spread on tortillas for delicious tacos or tostadas.

This recipe from the versatile and creative chef Rick Rodgers [you can check out his blog for here].  Rodgers uses chicken to give a flavorful, but very simple dish that is ultimately much easier to prepare than its namesake made with veal shanks.  In his original recipe, Rodgers uses only chicken thighs.  I adapted the recipe slightly to include legs and large chunks of boneless chicken breasts as well.

Note: If the idea of this delightful herb condiment appeals to you, check out the grapefruit gremolata that I wrote about here.

Osso Buco-Style Chicken
 (Adapted slightly from a recipe by Chef Rick Rodgers for Cooking LIght)
Makes 4 servings
Serve over polenta or rice, along with a steamed green vegetable, such as green beans. 

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
8 chicken thighs (and/or drumsticks)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large celery rib, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1-inch strip of orange rind
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. In batches without crowding, add skin-side down to the saucepan. Cook until the skin is browned, about 3 minutes, Turn the chicken and brown the other side, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the platter.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up the bits in pan. Add the orange rind and bay leaf.  Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, and the thyme, rosemary and basil. Return the chicken to the pan, nestling the pieces in the sauce, and bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the chicken show no sign of pink when pierced at the bone with the tip of a sharp knife, about 40 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, uncover the pan to help reduce the juices.

Just before serving, make the gremolata by mixing the parsley, zest, and garlic. Serve chicken and sauce, sprinkling each serving with gremolata.


 Osso Buco-Style Chicken

I am submitting this post to Ivonne, of the delightful Cream Puffs in Venice for her blog event Magazine Mondays.  Thank you, Ivonne!


Jann said...

This dish certainly grabs you! It looks delicious!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Oh yes marrow, how I love thee! And osso bucco is such a marrow lover's dish isn't it! :D

Hotly Spiced said...

Victoria - your Osso Bucco looks amazing and I love the plate you served it on. Osso Bucco is one of my most favourite meals and I love it with gremolata and risotto milenese. Great recipe! I must give it a try with chicken. said...

Lately it's all about chicken for me and I must say as much as I enjoy osso bucco, I have never made it.
I know a few restaurants that make it well and I do treat myself. This version is lovely, but coming from you it is expected. Saludos!

Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook said...

This looks so good, I'd love Osso Bucco with chicken, great flavors.

Lynne Daley said...

Beautiful photographs! I like the idea of the chicken. That blue bowl is awesome!

Jorgi said...

Osso Buco
The marriage of herbs ,tenderness of chicken thighs ,tomatoes in wine ....a taste explosion .

Easy to prepare and lovely presentation . This dish comes together as best friends .
Thanks Vicki ,I'm in love !