I’ve kinda been on a slump with my cooking lately (I know you can’t tell by all the recent posts). I just haven’t had much of an appetite lately and nothing sounds good. So when I asked Mrs. G what she wanted for dinner, she suggested chicken rosemary, a dish that has always been a favorite of mine (and hers ever since I introduced it to her).
When I was younger, my Mom used to make this for us. It reminds me of cold fronts blowing in, coming home from soccer practice or playing with my friends, my fingers freezing cold and nose red from the blustery winds. Suddenly being assaulted by the warmth of the house, the inside windows of the kitchen fogged up and the enticing aroma of this dish as it simmered in my Mom’s electric skillet. Comfort food for me for sure.
I remember coming home from college one year (must have been sophomore year since I lived in a dorm my freshman year and couldn’t cook) either at Thanksgiving or Christmas and copying down some of my favorite recipes from my Mom. For nights when I was feeling homesick, or had a rough day or just wanted some comfort food from my childhood. This was one of them and it came from a cookbook called Delicioso! Cooking South Texas Style. Now, I don’t know how popular this book is across the country, or Texas, or even in my home town of Corpus Christi, but many years later I would discover that my wife has a copy of this cookbook, my Mother In Law has two copies (one at the ranch) and I believe Mrs. G’s best friend has a copy as well. Maybe it’s required if you live in Corpus, or maybe its just one big coincidence.
- 1 3lb chicken, cut up, or chicken breasts, or thighs (we prefer thighs)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 16 oz can tomatoes (I prefer to use the kind flavored with basil, garlic and oregano)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tsp crushed dried rosemary or a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- Season flour with salt and pepper.
- Coat chicken with flour mixture.
- Heat a large skillet to medium, medium high.
- Add butter and a tbsp or two of oil to skillet. When melted, brown chicken on all sides.
- Remove chicken from the skillet and deglaze with wine.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and allow cook for 30 minutes.
When the chicken is done, we like to serve it up on a bed of rice. That’s how my Mom used to do it. Other times, we’ll take a sleeve of the ready to eat polenta, slice it up and briefly pan fry it and serve the chicken on that. The crispy outer layer of the polenta and the warm, creamy interior pair up well with this dish. If you want, add a sprig or two of rosemary for presentation. Comfort on a plate as far as I’m concerned.
Now why this is called chicken rosemary, I’ll never know. Sure it has chicken. And it has rosemary. But nothing in the name would even suggest to you that there would be tomatoes in it. Or that it might resemble an Italian dish a little bit. Admit it….this isn’t what you pictured when you checked out this post, was it? Well, for whatever reason it’s called what it is, we’ll just keep calling it that since it’s a dish from my childhood and one we’ll continue making for years to come. We hope it becomes a favorite in your household, too.
A few notes before I leave you:
- If your dish does not look exactly like mine, don’t panic. We used 8 chicken thighs. While putting it all together, we realized this was way too many and there would not be enough sauce, so we quickly added another can of tomatoes, doubled the wine and all other ingredients. So actually, what is pictured is a double recipe.
- Feel free to add other herbs and spices to this dish after you have tried it once. I will sometimes include fresh thyme, oregano, Italian seasonings and/or some red pepper flakes.
- After finishing this post, Mrs. G brought it to my attention that the mentioned cookbook was from the Junior League of Corpus Christi. That answers why I know so many people who have it and will probably be the reason you won’t be able to get your hands on it.