Favorite Chicken

My 7 year old daughter Catherine is a bit finicky.  She does however love chicken.  About the time she began to eat on her own I was interning at my friend’s  (Inacio “Nash” Pinto) restaurant “O Lagar” and learning the ins and outs of a professional kitchen from Chef Agostinho Gomes (Augie) (now the chef at Taste of Portugal Restaurant in Newark).  Augie made this delicious dish of roast chicken layered on top of a rich sauce made with white wine, peppers, onions and garlic.  So full disclosure: the basis of this recipe is Augie but I have added to it and while his is still the best I think mine would come in a close second.  Why is it called “Favorite Chicken”?  Well it became (and still is) my daughter’s favorite food to eat.  The preparation is simple even if the list of ingredients is very large.  While you can play around with the ingredients the base ingredients of wine, peppers, mass de pimentão, onions and garlic is crucial.  Another important preparation, although not critical, is to brine the chicken.  This brine stage will add a fantastic flavor and texture boost to the chicken and ensure that it remains moist and juicy.   Brining poultry isn’t a tradiotnal Portuguese preparation method but it is used when making roasted suckling pig.  I am a big fan of brining and do it to all bone-in chicken even chicken wings.  Brining accomplishes three things: (1) it flavors the food since salt and other spices infuse the meat, (2) it tenderizes the meat and (3) it ensures that the cooking process doesn’t dry out the meat…especially poultry white meat.  You can leave the chicken in the brine during the day and when you get home assemble the dish and pop it in the even.  It only takes an hour to cook at 400 degrees.  I like “Frank’s RedHot” cayenne pepper sauce since it isn’t very spicy and has great flavor but you can use your favorite piri piri (hot sauce). **Note** I use parsley stems in this recipe because all I want is the taste and flavor notes of the parsley.  Why waste the pretty leaves? .  Parsley stems have more concentrated flavor than the leaves and since they are generally thrown out I utilize them here since I am not decorating the finished dish with parsley.

Serves 4