by Sheila Connolly
I like to cook whole chickens, because I end up with two meals from one. My husband and I eat the front end at the first meal, and I save the back end for a later dish, most often Thai at our house. Another bonus is that the chicken parts are better balanced (i.e., not top-heavy).
I usually cook the chicken with onion chunks and fresh herbs stuffed in the body cavity, which gives the chicken a nice flavor. Or garlic. Or sliced lemons. Then I baste it with butter and oil, and I can stick it in the oven and ignore it for an hour or so (after setting a timer so I don’t forget it!).
So, here I am with the back end of a chicken, hunting for a recipe. I’m not in the mood for Thai, or chicken pot pie (another standard), or chicken chile (I think I’ve given not one but two recipes for that on MLK). What to do, what to do …
Chicken hash! I’ve got all the ingredients on hand (I’m racing a deadline so I don’t want to make a trip to the store), and apart from all that dicing of chicken and potatoes, it’s a simple dish. (Not as simple as some of the recipes I found in early cookbooks, which come down to: chop leftover chicken and leftover boiled potatoes, mix, heat, serve.)
Chicken Hash (for two servings with a bit left over)
Meat from two cooked chicken leg/thigh sections (you can use white meat if you prefer, but the dark meat is more flavorful and juicier)
2 pounds boiling potatoes (about six, depending on size), peeled and diced in large pieces
1 medium onion (yellow or red, if you prefer), chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tblsp vegetable or olive oil
1 Tblsp butter
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup low-salt chicken stock
2 Tblsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove the meat from the bones of the chicken and chop coarsely.
Parboil the diced potatoes (I’ve found that if you don’t parboil them for a few minutes—and you can do this in a microwave—they take forever to cook) and drain.
In a large non-stick sauté pan, combine the oil and the butter over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, and cook until soft. Add the potatoes and cook for a few minutes, then add the chicken pieces and thyme leaves.
Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the potato pieces just begin to brown. (If you think the mixture looks a bit blah, you can add a teaspoon of paprika for color and mix it in well.)
Add the parsley and the chicken stock (if it looks soupy, don’t worry) and cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed—it won’t take long.
If you want a bit of a crust, press down on the mixture against the pan, then turn the crusty parts over and mix in. Season with salt and pepper.
You can garnish this with sour cream or grated cheese if you like. And if you want to fancy it up, add chopped peppers and cook along with the potatoes. Or maybe chopped jalapenos. Have fun with it!
Coming June 2014!