Chicken in "Tomato Sugar"
Makes 4 servings
Every cook needs a good repertoire of chicken recipes, and this good-looking, great-tasting chicken dish is one you'll be glad to add to your list.
Find this recipe and more in Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Tastes.
2 tablespoons plus 2-1/2 teaspoons Chef Paul Prudhomme's Meat Magic® or
1 teaspoon ground dried chipotle chile peppers (or use any locally available pure ground chili)
One 4-to-5 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups chopped green bell peppers
1-1/2 cups chopped red bell peppers
1-1/2 cups chopped yellow bell peppers
1-1/2 cups turnipps, diced into 1/2-inch cubes or other mild white root vegetable
One15-ounce can tomato sauce, in all
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock or turkey stock
how to prepare
Combine the first 2 ingredients in a small bowl to make the seasoning mix.
Sprinkle the chicken evenly with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mix and rub it in well. In a heavy 4-quart pot, heat the oil over high heat just until it begins to smoke, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the chicken in batches, large pieces first and skin sides down first. Cook, turning several times, until the chicken is browned, but not cooked through, about 8 minutes per batch. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.
To the pot add the bell peppers, turnips, and the remaining seasoning mix. Cook, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, until the vegetables wilt and start to brown, about 12 minutes. At this point, the vegetables will have lost their "raw" taste, and be slightly sweet. You'll also notice a some of the heat of the chile peppers, but this will subside as other ingredients are added. Add 1 cup of the tomato sauce and cook until the sauce is dark and thick, the vegetables are soft and brown, and the mixture begins to stick, about 7 minutes. Reducing the tomato sauce with dry heat and allowing it to brown gives it color and depth, and the sweetness that we call "tomato sugar." You'll experience a wonderful flavor and aroma unlike anything else-your nose will tell you when you reach this stage! This process also gives the vegetables a fire-roasted taste. Now add the fresh thyme and garlic, and continue cooking. When the mixture is dry and sizzling (watch the pot, not the clock, especially here), stir in the remaining tomato sauce, the diced tomatoes, and stock. Return the chicken and the accumulated juices to the pot and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve over rice or pasta.
Copyright© 2000 by Paul Prudhomme