|Truman Capote and his 'date' Katherine Graham|
|An entire book was written about|
Truman's Black and White Ball
|The Plaza Hotel, now sadly a condominium|
and the home to Russian billionaires
who seldom live there.
The remaining hotel rooms all
face the back.
Truman, it seemed, had known the limitations of the Plaza kitchens. He chose something so homespun and forgiving, they couldn’t really screw it up. Since Ina Garten would have been about 18 when the Ball took place, Truman couldn’t have had the supreme good fortune of serving Ina’s recipe for Chicken Hash. But I have on numerous occasions, most recently on a cold night when I had half a roast chicken left over and a yearning for some real comfort food. This dish with its crispy potatoes and onions, its lovely chunks of red pepper and breast of chicken all laced together with a very flavorful spice mix, is absolutely delicious. Ina’s recipe calls for roasting bone-in chicken breasts rather than using leftovers. I’ve done it both ways and believe me when I say, it’s worth the effort to roast the breasts, it just takes a little longer. Even with the roasting, the dinner takes just over an hour to make and the prep time is about 45 minutes all told. So raise a glass to both Ina and Truman and make this delicious dish. Here is the recipe:
Ina Garten’s Chicken Hash
|The four key ingredients: Chicken, Yukon Gold Potatoes|
Onions and Red Peppers
16 basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds boiling potatoes, preferably Yukon Golds, peeled and large diced
2 red peppers, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 minced scallions, white and green parts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the on a baking sheet. Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving one side attached. Place 4 basil leaves under the skin of each chicken breast. Pull the skin over as much of the meat as possible so the chicken won't dry out. With your hands, rub each piece with olive oil and sprinkle very generously with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned and the chicken is just cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones. Cut the chicken in large dice pieces and set aside.
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan. Add the potatoes and onions, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until evenly browned and cooked through.
In a separate saute pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the red peppers, garlic, thyme, paprika, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the edges of the peppers are seared.