Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Orecchiette Recipe

I had a lot of roasted chicken leftover and needed a recipe to use it in. I spent some time perusing recipes but none of them appealed to me. So I looked in my pantry to see if I could find inspiration and I did. I found a box of orecchiette and went from there.

First I caramelized 3 large onions in a few tablespoons of olive oil. This takes quite some time. It took a good half hour for them to look like this.

Remove them from the pot to a bowl as above.

Leave the stuck on remnants in the bottom of the pot.

De glaze the pot with a couple tablespoons of sherry.

Oops....out of order!

Add the cooked chicken which has been diced into cubes. I used about 4 cups of chicken.

Add 5 diced garlic cloves.

Add a tablespoon of cracked black pepper.

Add about 4 cups of chicken stock. I had homemade but you can use store bought.

Boil a pound of orecchiette (Italian for little ears) pasta and cook for 11 minutes then drain.

Add the pasta to the chicken and add 4 tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese.

Return the caramelized onions to the chicken and pasta. Stir to combine and add more stock if it is too dry.

Serve sprinkled with a bit of parsley. This is a rich and delicious pasta.

A few people have asked what kind of bowls I use to bake my bread. This is my favorite. It is a Marcrest covered bowl. You can find them on ebay. I look at these bowls as being little clay ovens inside your regular oven.

Here is a bowl I use for smaller loaves. You leave the lid on for the first half of the baking time. This traps in the moisture which acts like a professional bread baking oven with a mister.

This is my other favorite covered bowl which I also found on ebay.

Trapping the moisture while baking gives you the perfect blistered crisp yet chewy sourdough crust.

You can use a dutch oven but these bowls work the best. If you use a covered bowl, make sure it does not have an inward lip that will trap the bread after baking. The bowl has to allow the bread to slip out at the halfway point.

I also always have a pizza stone in my oven so the bread finishes baking on it. These bowls are preheated along with the oven. They must be at the same temperature as the oven when the dough is transferred to them.