Sometimes using only a few ingredients can make the most scrumptious dish. Simple and easy to prepare, you really can’t go wrong with this chicken dish I am about to tell about, unless of course you’re the rebellious type and don’t follow my directions, which is fine by me, I like when people rebel and don’t following directions, people like that make history and as far as I’m concerned this chicken dish is historic. My mom use to make it when we were kids and my grandmother made it for my Mom when she was girl. It’s straightforward, pure and delicious. All you need is a little time and something fun and interesting to do while it cooks on your stove-top. I suggest painting a door, taking apart and cleaning an old Victrola, writing your novel, dancing, playing cards or watching endless re-runs of Julia Child on PBS. (These have all have worked for me while making this chicken dish.)
This time while my chicken cooked I was cleaning out an old box of school papers from fifth grade. I found a report I wrote on Italy which was quite good and a portrait of myself that a student-teacher had done in colored chalk, it was now flimsy and aged and ripped around the edges, it looked like something from the dark ages, am I really this old? I remember this student teacher well, her name was Katherine. She had big blue eyes and brown hair and an everlasting smile. I thought she was a hippie for some reason, perhaps because she wore long colorful long skirts that hung right before her ankle, I think back then they called them, “maxi-skirts”. –Katherine was in our class for three weeks and then from there she was off to South America teach for a two years. We both took a liking to each other because we made each other laugh. It was that simple. Anyone who “gets” my lame jokes and laughs along with me, well, usually we’re instant friends. Our friendship started during a classroom break. I had put on the record player an old 45 from 1962 (?) (it was 1975) it was the song, “loco-motion” by Little Eva. I twirled around like a lunatic and clapped and jumped around. Katherine was smiling at me egging me on. I danced with all my heart just for her. When the song was over Katherine said I was an “original” and asked if I wanted to dance for the class, “a special performance” she called it. Wow! What a silly question I thought, of course I did! —I stood on a chair and I danced, shaking my hips like a wild. I was having a blast, so wasn’t Katherine, clapping and cheering me on, we both laughed hysterically, the class, more than likely tired of my antics and not finding me so “original” rolled their eyes at me. But I didn’t care, I had a new friend and she liked me. When Katherine left I remember being quite sad, I bawled and pushed my desk against the wall and I sulked for a day. I was ten, Katherine was probably 22. Today she’d be 62 and I’d be __ — hmmmm old! –Anyway, this chicken recipe is for you Katherine, my long lost friend, wherever you are, I thought of you the entire time while my chicken cooked. —How was South America?
Sea Salt (plan old salt is fine too) and loads of finely ground black pepper
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
In a sauté pan heat olive oil, salt and pepper chicken (I use tons of pepper) place chicken skin side down, (leave the skin on, you can always peel it off later, but why would you? It’s so good to eat when it’s brown and crispy). Now turn the heat way down and let the chicken sit and simmer. Turn the chicken over after a while, then wait, then turn it again, wait and turn again and again and again, checking on it every so often, but for the most part leave it and let it do its dance in the pan, but always keeping the heat low, then when it starts to brown bring the heat up a bit. The chicken will start separating from the bone and crunchy tasty pieces will fall off, eat those. The finished product is crispy, tasty and pure, the chicken flavor is powerfully present and the olive oil gives of a nice richness. If you want to use the Balsamic vinegar, take the chicken out, drain the oil heat pan add about half cup of vinegar and scarp pan as the vinegar boils down (not too much) and drizzle over the chicken. This truly is a phenomenal, succulent dish that also gives off a nice homey aroma in your house. The trick is to keep it simple. Cook it slow, turn it every so often and be busy with something else and swing your hips and jump high.
Serve this with a simple green salad and a lemon garlic dressing (Lemon juice and chopped garlic, salt)