– Today on Cook’s Country, I’m making a streamlined one-pot chicken jardiniere. Toni explores the history of cooking in a single pot. Adam reviews bird’s beak pairing knives, and Morgan is cooking an easy one-pan Mediterranean shrimp. That’s all right here on Cook’s Country. I love a good one-pan meal.
And this dish from France, chicken jardiniere, is one of my absolute favorites. It’s easy, it’s elegant. The chicken remains the same, it’s braised lightly. But the vegetables change with the seasons. Jardiniere means gardener’s.
So, it’s up to you the cook, or the gardener, what goes into the pot.
Let me show you how easy it is to make this. I’ve got here a whole chicken. Now you could buy three pounds of chicken parts already cut up if you wanna make it super easy on yourself. But sometimes those pieces can be a little mismatched, but it’s so easy to cut up your own chicken.
You can actually see where the leg is pulling away from this breast meat. There’s a little bit of dark color there.
That means that, that is just loose skin. And if I follow it down, the thigh is going to start to pull away from the spine of the chicken. And then I’m going to pop this little thigh bone out of its socket and use a very sharp knife to release the thigh as well.
So we have here the leg and the thigh. All right, so I’m just gonna flip this over and you can see here, this little line of fat, that is right over the joint. (knife tapping) There we go.
I’ve got two thighs and two drumsticks. So now, let’s get to the rest of this.
Now we’re not using the wings here, but you definitely wanna throw these into a bag, put ’em in your freezer, save enough of ’em, and you can make some really good stock. Just pop the bone right out of the joint and cut around it. The breast meat is going to come away from the back meat here. You can use again, a pair of kitchen shears, sharp knife to cut right through the ribs. Sometimes it’s really hard to just go from the skin side through.
So what I like to do often is take my knife and go right in between the two breasts and kind of split that cartilage, just like that, makes it a lot easier, and then cut right through. All right. And now we’re going to cut each of these pieces roughly in half, but you can see this end is a lot thicker than this end here.
So I’m going to cut it about here. This is just going to help these pieces cook a bit more evenly.
So now I wanna dry these off really, really well because we’re gonna brown them in some oil in our Dutch oven here. If they’re moist at this point, even a little bit wet, there’s a danger that they will stick in the pan and they won’t get nice and brown. Just gonna season them with about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and get all sides here. All right, let me just go wash my hands and we’ll continue. All right, it’s time to get some color onto this chicken.
Now in my Dutch oven here, I’ve got a teaspoon of vegetable oil and I’ve been heating it over medium high, and I wanna look for a little bit of shimmer, a little bit of smoke just to start because we want a nice hot pan.
So I’m going to add this chicken skin side down. (chicken sizzling) That’s a good sound. All right, that looks good. So I’m gonna let that chicken get nice and brown on that first side, that’s gonna take about three minutes.
So while that chicken is getting nice and brown, I’m going to prep some pancetta. Pancetta is just going to add a really savory flavor to this dish. There’s a lot of flavor packed in here. Jacques Pepin is very famous for his chicken jardiniere recipe. And he said that his mother used chicken livers, but of course, pancetta is a little easier to find, gives some great flavor.
So we wanna cut this into 1/2″ pieces. So I’m gonna go ahead and cut across, and then into cubes. It’s been three minutes so, I’m gonna go ahead, flip them all over. We’re gonna let that go three minutes on that second side.
All right, so the chicken looks great.
So I’m just gonna take these pieces out, put ’em on a plate. All right, we got some nice brown color on the chicken, brown color on the pot. That brown color means flavor. So now into the pot, I’m going to add that pancetta, and I’ve reduced the heat to medium here. I also have an onion that we’ve chopped nice and fine.
A few minced garlic cloves, little bit of fresh time here, it’s 2 teaspoons that we’ve minced, and a half a teaspoon of salt. So now just gonna cook this until the onion gets nice and soft, and I’ll keep an eye on it, but we’re gonna let it go about four minutes. Now in the meantime, got a little bit more prep to do. Here comes the jardiniere part of our recipe. We’re using today, mushrooms, potatoes and carrots.
Now the potatoes, it’s the easy part. Just use really small potatoes. This is 12 ounces of little tiny yellow potatoes. Carrots, we used four of them, just peeled them, cut them into pretty big chunks. about 1″ chunks, and 8 ounces of white mushrooms.
Now, I just need to prep a couple more mushrooms here, just trim the stems off. We cleaned these earlier, and for really big mushrooms like these, you wanna quarter them, but if they’re smaller, you could just cut them in half. So we wanna add a little bit of body to our braising liquid here. I’ve got 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour. We’re gonna cook that for just a minute, really to get rid of its raw flavor.
And now we’re gonna de-glaze that pan, pull up some of those brown bits on the bottom. We’ll start off with 3/4 cup of dry white wine. Something like a Sauvignon Blanc would be perfect here. Just wanna whisk that in, and two cups of chicken broth. So we’re looking for this to come up to a simmer.
In the meantime, I’m still gonna pull some of those brown bits into this braising liquid. All right. So now it’s time to add in our vegetables, carrots, potatoes, the mushrooms. Just gonna season them with a 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper here, give that a little stir. And now, I’m going to add in our chicken, but not all of it.
I’m going to add in the dark meat only. So just the thighs and the drumsticks. We’re gonna leave the breasts out of the mixture for now because they take less time time to cook through than the thighs do. So we’re gonna nestle in the thighs, and the drum sticks here.
And now this should start coming up to a simmer.
So now I’m going to put a lid on it, and we’re gonna reduce the heat a bit. And we’re gonna let this summer for about 25 minutes before we add the breast meat pieces. One-pot cooking isn’t exactly a new idea. Cooking a mix of vegetables, starch and protein together in one vessel has been a time saving way to feed people for as long as humans have been cooking. In the United States, interest in one-pot meals surged in the 1950s when more women started to work outside the home.
The trend continued into the 1990s, when one-pot cookbooks were marketed to families with two working parents. Suddenly, a simple cooking method that had been used throughout history got a rebrand for Americans looking for a fast way to get dinner on the table.
The sheet pan dinner is the latest installment in the one-pot trend. This kitchen workhorse has recently seen a rise in popularity thanks to social media for a fairly simple reason. A sheet pan carefully arranged with colorful vegetables and protein is easy to photograph from overhead.
So while the terms may vary, one-pot, casserole, sheet pan, the idea of cooking everything together has undeniable appeal. All right, so it’s been braising for 25 minutes. Let’s take a look in the pot there, and you can see there are more juices in there than there was before.
That’s because the chicken and the vegetables have started to give off their own liquid. So now we can add the breast meat pieces, really giving the dark meat a head start on the breast meat, means that these will all cook evenly.
Nestle that in there, along with any juices left on that plate. So I’m gonna let this come up to a simmer, cover it. And we’re gonna let this go for another 20 minutes until the breast meat registers 160 degrees, and the thigh meat should register 175. All right, so it’s been about 20 minutes. So I’m going to check the temperature of both the thigh meat and the breast meat.
All right, thigh meat, I’m looking for about 175. That looks great. And then, breast meat, 160. All right. So now we’re going to turn the heat off.
We’re not quite done cooking yet. We’re going to add one more vegetable. That is a half a cup of peas. Absolutely fine to use frozen peas. So a half a cup of peas straight from the freezer, no need to thaw them.
I’ll stir this in. So we’re gonna leave this for five minutes and let those peas soften, and the chicken will continue to rise in temp. Now in the meantime, we only have one more ingredient to prep, and that is some fresh tarragon. You can also use fresh parsley here, but tarragon just gives such a lovely, kind of licorice bite to this. So I need a tablespoon of fresh tarragon.
I love that almost anise flavor of tarragon, So French. Just need to season it with that tarragon. I’m gonna reserve a little bit for the platter itself. Stir it in. All right, it’s time to serve.
And I’ve got a big platter, it’s a rimed platter here. It’s very important, ’cause this is a saucy dish. Of course you could serve this right out of the Dutch oven, but it’s so pretty when you platter it.
Oh, it smells so good. All right, and I’ll start scooping up some of the vegetables, potatoes, and the carrots and the mushrooms.
They’re all just perfectly tender. The rest of the pot goes right over it, all that beautiful sauce. I saved a little bit of that tarragon just so I can sprinkle it over the top. Let me go ahead and plate some for me. Oh, and all this saucy goodness.
You don’t need to be stingy with this dish. The proof is in the chicken. Make sure that it’s not dried out. Mm. That is so moist and beautifully cooked.
Need to tuck into a carrot here, beautifully tender. Piece of crusty bread, glass of wine, would make this the ultimate dinner.
So to make this great recipe at home, brown pancetta to create a fond, give the dark meat a head start in the pot, then braise the chicken breast until cooked through. So from Cook’s Country, the easy and elegant one-pot chicken jardiniere. These days, not my any cooks are fluting mushrooms or making radish roses, which are tasks from traditional French cooking that were always handled with a bird’s beak pairing knife like this.
A bird’s beak knife has a gently curved cutting edge and a fairly short blade. There are however, some tasks for which these knives are really well suited for home cooks still. So we tested this lineup of eight bird’s beak knives. The price range was about $15 to $85. And we tested them alongside our favorite standard paring knife, which this one from Victorinox.
We had a squad of testers that had different sized hands with different dominance.
And everyone used all the knives to hull and quarter strawberries, to core and peel tomatoes, to peel and section lemons and to cut the eyes out of fresh peeled pineapple. And I’ll tell you, right off the bat, testers recognized that these bird’s speak pairing knives hugged rounded and irregularly shaped items a little more closely than a standard paring knife which they really liked. Testers who had larger hands however, found that the shorter blades, which were 2 to 2 1/2″, were a little too small for them, whereas the entire squad of testers thought that the larger blades which were 2 1/2 to 3″ were comfortable. So everyone liked the larger blades.
Another thing you want to pay attention to with the blade, is that it is relatively narrow, both from the tip to the spine, and the tip of the cutting edge.
And that allows you to get in really close to say, the core of a tomato, like this. And you’re not wasting much flesh because you’re able to make really precise cuts. This also does a great job at peeling tomatoes. Again, that curved cutting edge really hugs the shape of the tomato.
The fine point is terrific for cutting the eyes out of fresh peeled pineapple. There we go. One thing you wanna pay attention to is how sharp the knife is from the factory because these curved blades are really hard to sharpen at home, and all of our knives were not equal in terms of sharpness. We also paid attention to the handles.
Handles of about a medium length, which was 3 1/2 to 4″, and a medium circumference, were the most comfortable for the widest range of testers.
So if you do a lot of precision work, or detail work with your pairing knife? We actually think that a bird’s beak parer makes a nice addition to your knife collection. And this is the winner.
This is the Mac paring knife, bird’s beak, 2 1/2″. It’s $30 bucks.
It was razor sharp. It has a nice narrow blade with a very fine tip. And a lot of testers commented that this knife made their paring tasks feel effortless – Today we’re making wacky cake. And what makes wacky cake so wacky, is that there aren’t any eggs or butter in the recipe. Right in the square pan, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk it all together.
We’re gonna get wacky and make some craters in our dry ingredients.
Pour vegetable oil into the larger crater and in the two smaller craters, add distilled white vinegar and vanilla. With no eggs, the vinegar and the baking soda provide the lift in the cake. Pour in a cup of water, and then stir until just a few streaks of flour remain. Okay, now bake the cake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
You know the cake is ready when a toothpick inserted in the the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs like this.
Once it’s cooled completely, turn it out of the pan and dust the cake with confectioners sugar. Enjoy. – I don’t own a dishwasher at home. So I’ll do anything I can to avoid dirtying a dish, which means my favorite meals, by default, are those that come together on one pan.
And people don’t often think of shrimp as a go-to protein for one pan meals, but they’re great for it.
They’re bold and they’re flavorful, and they cook really quickly. That said, they are very prone to over cooking. So if you use shrimp in a one-pan recipe, like this one-pan Mediterranean shrimp. You often wanna start the vegetables first.
So today I’m starting with a pound and a half of Yukon gold potatoes. And I’m gonna peel them. Yukon gold potatoes get buttery in the oven, and they get nice and soft and creamy.
And now I’m just gonna cut it into 1/2″ thick slices. So I like slicing it because you get more surface area, which means more of that delicious caramel browning in the oven.
And then I have fennel, which one of my dear friends, Bridget Lancaster, thinks is one of the most underrated vegetables in the world, and I definitely agree with her. When it’s raw, fennel is crispy and crunchy.
And then when you cook it, it becomes buttery and tender and sweet. And I just, I feel like more people should use it. I cut off all the fronds.
These have a little bit of flavor, so if you ever want, you could use these as a garnish in something, but this is where most of the flavor is, in the bulb. So with this fennel bulb, I’m gonna peel out the outer layers, they can be a little tough.
And now I’m gonna cut it into 1″ wedges. And I’m cutting it through the root end because that’ll hold it together in the oven. And then same deal as the potatoes.
I’m trying to get as much surface area as I can on this fennel, so that when it’s in the oven, it gets so much color and nice browning. And to do this, you kind of just angle your knife in a little bit and go in, so you have a nice switch. So this is all our vegetables, it’s a pound and a half of Yukon gold potatoes, and then the two fennel bulbs. I’m just gonna add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a teaspoon of salt. And then I’m just using table salt, and 1/4 teaspoon and pepper.
And toss ’em together, and onto the sheet pan. So now I’m just gonna spread them out in a nice even layer. And I wanna make sure all the flat cut pieces are touching the sheet pan. It’s worth spending a second just arranging them, because anything that’s touching the sheet pan is gonna get some nice caramelly browning.
I’m going into a 450 degree oven on the lower middle rack.
In most ovens, the heat source is at the bottom of the oven, so you’re getting a ton of heat at the bottom and that’s gonna help these vegetables brown. The vegetables are gonna roast until they’re tender, which will take about 25 minutes, which gives us time focus on the star of the show, the shrimp. So here I have two pounds of jumbo shrimp, which means that there are 16 to 20 of them in a pound. When you’re shopping for shrimp, you really wanna look for a package that just says shrimp on the ingredient list. It shouldn’t say salt, it shouldn’t say sodium triphosphate, just shrimp.
I’m gonna peel and devein these. And to do that, I like to use these shrimp shearers.
You can use regular shears but these are nice and arched like a shrimp. So, I like to go in and just cut through the back, you can just peel off the shell, and then if there’s anything left to remove, just go on with a paring knife and take it out. The enemy of any browning is moisture, especially with shrimp.
When you thaw them there’s often a ton of liquid in that bag. I always pat proteins dry before searing. To these I’m just gonna add some nice Mediterranean ingredients. I have a tablespoon of olive oil, two teaspoons of dried to oregano, which is nice and earthy and herbal. A teaspoon of lemon zest, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
And like, the lemon and the oregano, they go really nicely with the fennel.
I’m gonna let this shrimp sit with the lemon zest and the oregano, and the vegetables finished cooking, and I’m gonna go wash my hands. Okay, the vegetables have been cooking for 25 minutes so let’s check ’em out. So, they smell delicious. You can already see some of the browning.
So when you flip ’em, you kind of get this, like lovely surprise and you’re like, hello, look at how brown that is. It’s so fun.
I just like to use a really thin metal spatula to make sure you can get under them. They all look nice and roasty, the vegetables are tender. I would be really psyched to just eat this.
Of course, we’ve got the star of the show, the shrimp. So I’m gonna sprinkle the shrimp on top of these vegetables. This is a really smart way to cook shrimp. So the pan is ripping hot. And to put it on top of the vegetables like this it gives ’em a nice layer of insulation above the sheet pan, and it’ll cook them a little more gently so they won’t just like, go crazy and curl under in the oven.
And I’m also gonna sprinkle on four ounces of crumbled feta. I always like to buy feta as a block and crumble it myself. I think you just get a much better product. It’s a little less starchy.
So I’m gonna put it back in the oven.
Same thing, 450 degrees, lower middle rack. And I’m just gonna cook ’em until the shrimp are cooked through, which will take about seven minutes. They smell so good. The shrimp are just nice and pink. They’re not yet curled under.
So I’m just gonna dress this up a little bit. I have 1/2 cup of halved Kalamata olives here. I’m gonna sprinkle those over top. They’re so delicious. I feel like olives are a good way to like add a little acidity and punch to anything.
So I have two tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, which one, is just beautiful. And two, adds just a little nice freshness. And then I’m gonna finish by drizzling with some olive oil, which is just a little extra richness, and also it gives it a little shininess. I just feel like this is such a pretty one-pan meal, and I’m so excited. So it’s time to eat.
Gonna get a shrimp, some potatoes, some fennel. Then I always like to just serve it with some lemon wedges. It takes something from like, this is really good, to like, oh yeah, this is great. And maybe I’ll start with a shrimp. It’s really juicy, it’s really plump.
It’s got a nice flavor from the oregano and the lemon zest. Let me go in for some fennel. Mm, it’s so delicious. It’s like buttery and creamy. And I just wanna like start a PR campaign for fennel.
I’m like, this is so good.
It’s kind of cool that this came off of one pan, and I only have one pan to clean. For an unexpected one-pan dinner, start the vegetables first, cook them until they’re tender. then layer shrimp on top. Then garnish with some really bold ingredients.
from Cook’s Country, a great recipe for one-pan Mediterranean shrimp. Mm. I think now I just need some rose. – Thanks for are watching Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen. So what’d you think?
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