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Old 10-21-2017, 12:05 PM   #1
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Chicken tray bake 'alla Pugliese'

I've been sorting out the hundreds of handwritten recipes I've collected over the years, and came over this - OH really liked it, and it's one of those dishes where a little goes a long way:

1 whole fresh chicken, about 1 and a half to two pounds in weight, cut into eight to ten pieces
very finely chopped onion and fresh garlic, about 2 onions
chopped fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
fresh thyme
Fresh lemon juice
about 4 medium or a little bit more potatoes, cut into chunks, suitable to cook right with the chicken.
Fresh mushrooms, especially wild ones, to taste - I like a lot
bacon cubes, to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper

The method is pretty standard:
sweat off the chopped onions and then add the chicken pieces, then the herbs and lemon juice, then scatter the potatoes and the mushrooms over it all, also the bacon cubes and finally the grated parmesan, which you may wish to do at a later stage, or not at all. You experts will know exactly what to, if the recipe appeals to do!

di reston


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Old 10-21-2017, 04:30 PM   #2
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Thanks,

This recipe reminds me of an old Italian American dish that appeared at large family gatherings, I wonder if it may have originated in Puglia and been modified when it came to America.

Some people call it Chicken Murphy, not sure why.

Chunks of Italian sausage, potato, chicken pieces, peppers and onions roasted together in the oven.

Many variations exist but I just cut everything up toss it in olive oil, add some garlic, salt and pepper then roast it for an hour or so at 400 - 425 degrees. When it's done and everything is tender I hit it with a shot of red wine vinegar or some fresh lemon juice.
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:05 PM   #3
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This sounds really good!
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:13 PM   #4
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This does sound good. I'm a little confused about the method, though. The title is "tray bake," so it's cooked on a sheet pan, right? Do you sweat the onions in another pan, then move them to the sheet tray and add the other ingredients? Or somehow do it all on the sheet pan?

Lots of people lurk (read but don't post) or just come across recipes in a search, so I would go ahead and describe the method for people who are not experienced cooks.
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
Thanks,

This recipe reminds me of an old Italian American dish that appeared at large family gatherings, I wonder if it may have originated in Puglia and been modified when it came to America.

Some people call it Chicken Murphy, not sure why.

Chunks of Italian sausage, potato, chicken pieces, peppers and onions roasted together in the oven.

Many variations exist but I just cut everything up toss it in olive oil, add some garlic, salt and pepper then roast it for an hour or so at 400 - 425 degrees. When it's done and everything is tender I hit it with a shot of red wine vinegar or some fresh lemon juice.
Oh, I love Chicken Murphy.

I'd agree that it was an Italian dish that Irish Americans tossed in some leftover bangers and renamed it.

Although, the one di posted Is a definite "must try", for it's authentically Italian ethos of straight-forwardness.
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
This does sound good. I'm a little confused about the method, though. The title is "tray bake," so it's cooked on a sheet pan, right? Do you sweat the onions in another pan, then move them to the sheet tray and add the other ingredients? Or somehow do it all on the sheet pan?

Lots of people lurk (read but don't post) or just come across recipes in a search, so I would go ahead and describe the method for people who are not experienced cooks.
A tray bake uses a roasting pan, so it is more like roasting than baking. You generally put everything in the roasting pan (tray) with some oil and roast it in the oven.

I found a photo online of something similar to Di Reston's recipe, I believe...

CD

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Old 10-22-2017, 08:05 AM   #7
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Yes. Italians love tray bakes ('al forno'). I do too. I find that the recipe I posted goes down very well with OH. I've noticed also that Italo-American recipes like this are more opulent, whereas in Italy they go towards frugal. The example I give of this was when OH and I were invited to dinner with friends, and there 12 of us round the table. The lady of the house had bought a 2lb chicken. She invited me into her kitchen, to show me what she was going to put on the table as her 'pezzo forte'. The other items - those in this recipe - seemed frugal too. But I can tell you now, that when it came to dishing up, there was plenty for everybody and nobody went hungry. I couldn't believe it, and still don't, but it works out that way for me as well, and that's one of the things about ordinary no-frills Italian that I really like, but it still amazes me. I try it out with friends, and it still works!

Now for doing the tray bake:

When you do a tray bake, first thing you need is a good size oven tray with no sides to speak off - lke the tray you use when you keep things, or cook things on the barbecue. You need to get something (very tender meat, sausage, chicken, or something like like. The rest is made of what's in season. At the moment, mushrooms are, pumpkin, bell peppers are always in, but use yellow/red peppers or green bell peppers, according to the way you're going to season you're accompanying veg. Potatoes cut into 3" pieces and parboiled help. This is a dry bake, so you wouldn't use sauces of any kind, rather 2 or 3 whole plum tomatoes, torn and scattered around your creation. Don't go too lavish, it overthroes the flavours. Have a creative session, and let's see what we can share together!

di reston


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Old 10-22-2017, 08:12 AM   #8
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Thank you, di. So you're referring to a sheet pan
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and not a roasting pan?
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I've made a few dishes like this. Now that the weather is getting cooler, it's the perfect time to make them again.
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:39 AM   #9
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Gotgarlic, you've got it in one! It needs to be a shallow tray to avoid too much liquid formation. If the concept appeals to you, you will find them useful, easy and tasty, and you can do any type of tray bake as your fancy takes you because this type of cooking is very versatile. The other thing is, once you've got it in the oven, you only need to check it once or twice, and you can get on with other things. Glad you like the concept.

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Old 10-22-2017, 07:05 PM   #10
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It's the sheet pan. That's what we use, for that and many other things!


di reston


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