I feel like I’m introducing you to a very beloved member of my family! That’s how special Nani’s Sautéed Chicken is! My grandmother, Nani, pronounced this dish SAU-TEEEE-D chicken. It is so easy and perfectly scrumptious and the dish I make the most! We must have Sauteed Chicken every other week. It’s that good and fills me with such sweet memories. Food has a way of connecting us with the past.
Helen Elizabeth, one of 12 children, was born on a cold winter day in 1907 in a coal mining town in northern Pa. Her parents were immigrants from Austria and Hungary. Helen was my beloved grandmother.
She had an 8th grade education and at the age of 14 went to work as a cook for a “rich family”. Nani was a very good cook. Like most people during that time, no food was ever wasted and every speck of flavor was lovingly coaxed from it! I adored my grandmother. She was smart and kind and so strong and industrious and filled with love for her family and all those who were lucky enough to cross her path.
She was always cooking. I remember all the good smells coming from her kitchen and the way she could cut and dice things into perfect little pieces. Her style is what I like to call peasant food. Hearty, basic, fresh and frugal. Her sauteed chicken is the perfect example of this.
I’ve taken this wonderful dish and made it my own while keeping all the simplicity and flavor in it! My Nani cooked this whole dish on top of the stove, but I find braising it in the oven gives it even more flavor!
So, Nani this post is for you with great love and respect. YOU are the one that has given me my passion for cooking! And I think of you so often when I’m in my kitchen!
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE give this delicious dish a try! I bet it will be a family favorite too!
NANI'S SAUTEED CHICKEN
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 8 -10 chicken thighs bone-in, skin on
- 1 large yellow onion peeled and chopped
- 3-4 celery stalks chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped and loosely packed (Reserve 1 TBS for garnish)
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add oil to a Dutch Oven or large shallow ovenproof pan. Put on medium heat. Salt chicken. When the oil is heated, add chicken in batches to the pan SKIN SIDE UP. Do not crowd the pan with chicken, it won't brown properly. Brown chicken for 6 minutes and don't touch the chicken!!!! After 6 minutes take the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate. Do not brown the skin side of the chicken. There should be brown bits in the bottom of the pan.
Add onions and celery to the Dutch Oven or pan. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of chicken stock and the parsley to the mix. Make sure to stir all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and nestle all the chicken thighs into the Dutch Oven or pan, skin side up. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper liberally. Add more stock if the chicken is not covered half way. Spoon a little stock over each chicken thigh and pop the chicken in the oven, uncovered.
Braise for 45 minutes until the meat is very tender and the top of the chicken is golden brown.
Serve the chicken in a large shallow bowl with mashed potatoes, cheesy polenta or rice. Make sure to ladle the scrumptious saucy broth and tender veggies over it! Garnish with parsley.
Adapted from My Grandmother's Recipe
To me, this is dinner perfection! I served Nani’s Sauteed Chicken with fresh slices of tomatoes and wilted baby spinach in garlic oil with browned shallots this week.
You might want to pin this to your RECIPE Pinterest board. You can follow me on Pinterest and see all the yummy recipes I’m pinning on my Foodie Fun board, HERE!