Monday, September 19, 2011

Osso Buco

Osso what?  Osso Buco ("oh-so boo-ko") literally means "bone with hole" and is an Italian method for braising veal in a white wine broth with vegetables.  I've tried it with lamb, turkey, and chicken, and this recipe made with chicken is definitely our favorite.  It's traditionally served over risotto, but it's just so amazing over mashed potatoes that I never make it any other way.

This recipe just screams Fall and chilly, bundle-up weather.  It's comfort food without being overly heavy and fatty, and the rosemary will make your house smell amazing.  While we're on the topic - definitely don't skip the fresh rosemary.  It's the star of this recipe, and the broth just won't be nearly so amazing without it.

While Osso Buco may seem fancy and complicated at first, it's really just the same series of easy steps each time:  Brown the meat and set it aside.  Cook the vegetables.  Add the wine and tomato paste.  Put the chicken back in with broth, and cook it in the oven for an hour or so.  Serve it over mashed potatoes and you'll have dirtied a total of 2 pans and a cutting board for this meal.  You just can't beat comfort food that's decently healthy with very little cleanup!


Chicken Osso Buco
6 skinless chicken thighs, bone-in
flour to coat chicken, approx 1 c.
salt & pepper
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 c. carrots, diced
1 c. celery, diced
1 c. onion, diced
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 c. white wine
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
32 oz. low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large ziploc bag, combine flour with salt and pepper.  Add chicken, seal the bag, and shake it to coat the chicken pieces.  Shake off excess flour and place chicken on a plate.

Heat oil in a Dutch Oven(or other large, oven-safe pot) over medium-high heat.  Add chicken, in a single layer, and brown both sides.  Remove chicken to a plate and repeat until all chicken thighs are seared.

Lower the heat to medium.  In the same pot (don't discard the oil or any browned bits), add carrots, celery, and onion and cook until the onion is translucent.  Add the tomato paste and stir to distribute in the vegetables and cook for 1 minute.

Slowly stir in the white wine and use a wooden spoon to start deglazing the bottom of the pot (i.e., scraping the browned bits up into the broth).  Let the wine cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the seared chicken back into the pot, add the rosemary sprigs and bay leaves, and place the pot onto the oven rack just below the middle.  Pour in enough chicken broth to cover the chicken.  Cover the pot and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Serve over mashed potatoes, risotto, or polenta.

Ingredient Lineup:

Vocab time: Mirepoix ("meer pwah") is a fancy name for the mixture of diced celery, carrots, and onion.

With the addition of tomato paste and white wine.

Place pot onto oven rack and then pour in enough broth to cover the chicken.

Serve in a rimmed plate, with the broth spooned over mashed potatoes.

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