Lemon Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes

When this recipe from Ed Giobbi, author of Italian Family Cooking, appeared in House & Garden Magazine in the early Seventies Adrienne quickly made it her own.  It became a mainstay in her repertoire especially when she had to cook for a crowd, as she often did on weekends spent at her husband’s family home on Long Island.   Rosemary is a favored herb and it pairs perfectly with the chicken and potatoes.Chicken and rosemary potatoes in pot

The original recipe called for using rosemary branches but during the braise the needles dispersed into the sauce and were tough and unappealing when eating the finished dish.  I struggled with how to get around this and still keep it a fairly easy dish.  Putting the rosemary branches in cheesecloth was fussy and the flavor didn’t infuse into the potatoes and sauce.  In the end I got my resident chopper – my husband – to mince the rosemary.  It worked perfectly.  If you have to do it yourself, mince more than is required for the recipe and freeze it.  It freezes really well and you can use it straight from the freezer.

I also added leeks and a lemon rind which I think work well with the chicken and rosemary flavors.  Don’t use a lemon with the juice in it because the juice will inhibit the cooking of the potatoes.  The rind is edible after being cooked and adds a surprising bite to the dish.  And to make it a complete one dish meal I tossed in Chantenay carrots .  They keep the dish easy too because they are already the perfect size and don’t need peeling.

Click for the recipe: Lemon Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes


Lemon Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes

Serves 6-8                                                       

Prep: 15 mins. Cooking: 1 ¼ hours

4 chicken thighs and 4 breasts, salted 24 hours in advance

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled

¼ cup olive oil

3 tbsp. butter

4 leeks, white and a bit of the green sliced ¼ “thick

2 cups white cooking wine

10 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely minced

2 Bay leaves

1 rind of lemon cut into eighths

10 medium potatoes sliced ¼” thick, use Yukon Gold or similar, peeled or not as you prefer

12 oz. Chantenay carrots, ends trimmed

1 cup +/- homemade chicken stock as needed

Pre-heat oven to 350 F

Heat the olive oil and butter over moderate heat in a casserole that can later be used in the oven, or sauté everything on the stove in a skillet and then transfer to a foil pan for the oven cooking.  Add the garlic cloves and thighs.  After turning the thighs add the breasts.  Cook them lightly on both sides.  Season with pepper.  Add the leeks and cook until lightly colored.  Add wine, rosemary, bay leaves and lemon rind.  Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove cover, raise heat and boil rapidly until wine has reduced by half. Remove chicken to a warm platter.  Add potatoes, carrots, salt & pepper and chicken stock if necessary to cover vegetables.  Bring to a simmer on the stove.

Cover and bake in oven stirring occasionally for a total of 50 minutes.   After 30 minutes add thighs and any juice that has exuded from them.  After 40 minutes add breasts.  The potatoes will break up and you should even encourage this when you stir the mixture.  Add stock as needed.  The sauce should not be soupy but the dish should be moist.  Remove the bay leaves and the garlic skins and crush the cooked garlic into the sauce.

If your sauce is too soupy remove the dish from the oven.  Remove the chicken and boil the liquid furiously on the stove until you get the right texture and taste.

To reheat in the oven, if made ahead, remove the chicken pieces and add stock if necessary – the potatoes will have absorbed quite a bit of the liquid.  Add the chicken pieces back for the last 10 minutes.

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2 Replies to “Lemon Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes”

  1. Hi, I can’t wait to make this chicken rosemary recipe. But I was really trying to find a way to reach you because my husband also has PPA, now for about 4/5 years and now doesn’t understand words now – but does understand visuals on the iPhone! So try that, it works,
    depending on where Adrienne is with PPA. I read about you in the NYT article. I think your book is a wonderful tribute to her and wish you great success with it. She sounds like a phenomenal cook and has led a wonderfully interesting life.
    Bless you all for doing this and also for bringing more people with a way to know about PPA.

  2. Dear Linda
    Thank you for your advice about Adrienne and using images on the phone to help communicate. I am sorry you too are coping with a loved one who has this tragic disease. I have found that food still engages Adrienne especially a favorite dish like the Rosemary chicken. Please stay in touch and let me know how you get on with cooking the book. And share any other tips for coping with PPA. Xoxo

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