I read in MS Living mag that one of her editors loved to feed her family of 3 boys and 1 husband a chicken that was simply sautéed in olive oil and finished with a combination of red wine vinegar, garlic and rosemary. A photo of both the dish and the attractive family of five clearly anticipating a great dinner sent me to the grocery store.
The butcher asked if I was making curry when I asked to have the chicken, skin and bones intact, chopped into about the same size pieces. I’ve never made curry but I said yes, anyway — as what was the point of carrying on that conversation thread?
Mixing the marinade was the only step unless you want to count mincing the garlic cloves and cutting up the rosemary. The recipe said, “Don’t crowd the chicken, cook in two batches if necessary.” I pretty much ignored that, thinking — the chicken were long passed the time of caring whether they were crowded.
That was a mistake.
Instead of a clean crisp sear, the chicken steamed. Instead of a rich brown carmelized finish, the chicken turned a pock-marked pale grey. Instead of a uniform doneness, the parts were either half-cooked or overdone. Adding broth to the pan to begin a glazing sauce caused the chicken to seriously simmer, no doubt still irritated about the crowding.
Then the vinegar, garlic, rosemary marinade joined the party — and really never left. The finished dish was a jumble of bones, skin, tough chicken meat with a chief note of an unbalanced vinaigrette. I served it over brown rice with asparagus.