Braised food

Braised Chicken and Benefits of Donald Link’s Chefs for Ukraine

My wife recently found a recipe on the New York Times website by Donald Link. I’ll link to this recipe, but it requires a subscription and it’s also available elsewhere, including NOLA.com and Food 52, where there’s also a video.

I really like the recipe because it’s totally Donald Link jam – layered flavors and as this person on the Food 52 video points out – it uses two ingredients that are dried to provide salt and flavor” umami” dish: olives and salami. But I’m writing about this now mainly because when we got home from the grocery store after buying all the ingredients, my wife said, “This meal is going to be $32.”

I realized I had the receipts from Rouse’s and Whole Foods, so I thought I’d do the price. A few caveats: I take into account that we only used a portion of certain ingredients (like tomato paste and garlic, in which case I made real math to calculate our cost for the dish. And I’m also going to jot down the ingredients that I have on hand and that I assume you have on hand as well. These are things like salt, pepper, bay leaf, flour, and red pepper flakes. For things I have on hand that you may not have, I used “Instacart” to figure out Rouse’s fees. I should probably look at the price online at Whole Foods too, because sometimes it’s actually cheaper, but I think you can do that if you think it’s important and, after all, it’s not a scientific paper that I submit for peer review.

Here is the recipe, with the costs of each ingredient listed:

1 chicken (3-1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces (we bought a whole chicken and a package of chicken thighs; we ended up using the thighs, but the whole chicken was $5.59 and thighs $4.70 This was for four thighs, and six would have been better; the recipe calls for a whole chicken, cut into pieces, so I’ll give you the two totals.)

  • 2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced ​​($1.29/lb at Rouse, which works out to about $0.65)
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced ​​($4.99/lb and the two heads I bought were 0.22 lbs. Best guess is that the 5-6 cloves we used cost about $0.40 I debated whether to include this as I had garlic on hand and you probably do too, but I bought it so could easily do the math)
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced ​​(The bulb we bought was $3.49, and we used just over half of it, so I’ll say $2.10)
  • 1 sprig rosemary (8 inches) (this is a tough sprig, as I have two huge rosemary bushes. This amount of rosemary would probably cost you $2.00 if you needed it. I added it to the total .)
  • 1-1/2 cups diced salami (Available at Whole Foods, who looking at the receipt I now realize didn’t give me the sale price. It was supposed to be $5.99, but we paid $7.49. I’ll go ahead and use $5.99.)
  • 1 cup green olives, halved (Also Whole Foods, which has a flat rate of $10.99 for everything in the “Mediterranean Bar”, we spent $3.69 and used about 2/3 of it , so I’ll say $2.30.)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (We used fresh oregano because I grow oregano and if you don’t I bet you have the dried one on hand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (We used boxed pinot grigio, which I hope you won’t judge us for. The box costs about $20 and contains 3 liters, so ½ cup should cost about 0.78 $.)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste ($0.69 at Rouse and we used about 1/3 of the small can, so $0.45.)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 cups chicken broth (I make chicken broth about once a week and had it on hand. If you buy it in a carton, you’ll spend about $3.47 for the carton of 32 oz from Emeril. You’ll have some leftovers, so it’s about $1.75.)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon ($3.99 for a bag at Rouse, but usually around $0.50 is what I’ll use.)

That’s a total of $22.51 for the dish with a whole chicken and $21.62 with the thighs. The whole chicken version will easily feed four people as a starter, and the leg version will feed two or three, again depending on what you’re serving with it. We made orzo pasta and spinach, but I think the next time I make it I’ll use polenta, or “porridge” as my grandmother called it. Grilled asparagus or zucchini would be great in place of spinach, as would broccoli raab.

The Food 52 video says this recipe is in Link’s “Real Cajun” cookbook, but it’s actually in “Down South.” They are two good books that I hope to review in more detail at some point.

In other news, I recently learned that three local chefs are hosting a benefit evening to raise money for the World Central Kitchen’s Chefs for Ukraine charity. Here is part of the version:

James Beard: Finalist for Best Southern Chef 2022, Isaac Toups, owner of Toups Meatery in New Orleans, partners with award-winning Chef Nina Compton of Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro and Chef Mason Hereford, owner of “Best New Bon Appétit in America 2017’s Restaurants” Turkey and the Wolf and Molly’s Rise and Shine, to host a one-of-a-kind private in-home dinner for ten to benefit the chefs of World Central Kitchen (WCK) for Ukraine.

“We are devastated by the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine. Having worked with WCK throughout the pandemic to feed the New Orleans community, we know the incredible work they are doing and want to support their frontline efforts in Ukraine,” says Isaac Toups.

The winner of the auction will enjoy an extravagant dining experience, tailored to their preferences, from this trio of renowned and award-winning chefs. It will include several courses with wine and/or cocktail pairings, as well as the opportunity to interact and socialize with some of the big names in New Orleans cuisine.

Opening bids start at $10,000 and can be made at Rally Up. Bidding is open now and will end on April 20, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

*The experience is valid for 10 people

*Experience cannot be transferred, resold or auctioned

*To be determined on a mutually agreed date

*Open to residents of the continental United States

*All travel outside of the state of Louisiana will require Chefs travel and accommodations and is the winner’s responsibility

*Expires one year from date of purchase

They are three great chefs and also great people. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk to all three at length over the years, and if you’re lucky enough to be one of ten guests at this meal, you’ll not only enjoy the food, but also their company. I suspect the winning bidder will be driven by a desire to support the great work WCK is doing for Ukraine and the world, of course, but the dinner looks like amazing lagniappe.