Family Meal

by Chef David Ferguson




Filtering by Tag: chicken dinner

A Better Chicken Dinner Part 2: Organic Chicken Breast, Celery Root Puree, Spring Vegetables, & Pickled Radish

Prep time:  30 mins.   Cook time:  30 mins.   Serves:  2

The carrots and asparagus are intentionally given minimal attention here , in order to bring out their freshness and true flavor.  Simply seasoning with salt and pepper and roasting will bring out natural sugars and give a clean, fresh palate to work with.  

Celery root is exactly what it sounds like, the tuber that celery stalks grow from.  It has the vegetative taste of celery with the earthiness of a russet potato.  Simmered until very tender and then pureed with buttermilk and butter gives it a mashed potato like texture while retaining most of the original flavor.  


  • 1 whole split chicken breast
  • 1 whole celery root; peeled and cubed
  • 1 large leek; sliced
  • 4 whole carrots; peeled
  • ½ lb asparagus
  • 1 radish; sliced very thin
  • ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp celery seeds
  • 3 tbsp butter; divided
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil; divided
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley; chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a small saucepan, add vinegar, tbsp salt, sugar, and celery seed.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.   When vinegar mix is hot, pour over sliced radish.  Set aside and allow radish to pickle while you prepare the rest of your components.

Place a sauce pan over medium  and add cubed celery root and water.  Simmer celery root until very tender.  Strain celery root and add to a food processor.  Puree celery root, adding in 1 tbsp butter and buttermilk, until very smooth.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Place a saute pan over medium heat with remaining butter.  Add leeks and season well with salt.  Allow the leeks to gradually cook down and become tender, occasionally stirring and adding a tbsp of water to make a light sauce.  

While the leeks are cooking, place a large skillet or saute pan over high heat with 2 tbsp of vegetable oil.  When the pan is very hot, place your chicken breast skin side down in the pan.  Immediately place the pan in the oven and roast chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 160, about 15 minutes.  Flip the chicken over about halfway through the cooking time to ensure it cooks evenly.  

Meanwhile, add remaining vegetable oil to a saute pan and add carrots, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Place the pan in the oven and allow the carrots to roast until fork tender, about 10 mins.  Halfway through the cook time, add in the asparagus and roast both vegetables together.  Slice carrots in half to plate once they are finished.  


A Better Chicken Dinner Part 1: Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Cranberry Chutney, Savory Onions, & Jus

Prep Time: 40 min    Cook Time:  20 min    Serves:  2

Chicken is the workhorse of the american dinner menu.  A go to. A staple.  Chicken is a fantastic and versatile protein but it often suffers from an image problem as a boring, bland and unimaginative dish.   With the A Better Chicken Dinner series, I  hope to change that perception with a dose of creativity and basic technique.  Because the weather has turned colder, this dish has plenty of big hearty flavors and indulgent textures.   This would go well with some hearty mashed potatoes or some oven roasted root vegetables to play off the sweetness of the chutney and onions.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium sauce pot, pour 28 oz of chicken stock and set over medium heat to reduce.  Reserve the remaining half cup of stock.  

Remove the top and bottom of the onion and give it a medium dice.  Put a saute pan over med-low heat and add the tbs of vegetable oil and onions, salting liberally.  Allow the onions to cook down slowly as you finish the rest of your preparation, occasionally returning to the pan and deglazing with the remaining chicken stock as the onions stick to the pan.  Cook until tender and translucent.

For the chutney, cook shallots in oil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries just pop, 10 to 12 minutes, then pulse in a food processor to achieve desired texture.

Season both sides of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper.  Place a large saute pan over high heat and add a tablespoon of oil.  Make sure the oil and pan are sufficiently heated to make sure the chicken doesn't stick to the pan (look for slight wisps of smoke coming off the pan).  Place the pan in a preheated oven, turning after 5 minutes.  Remove chicken from oven after 10 minutes or once internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Remove chicken from pan and reserve pan with drippings. 

Return to the reducing stock. Pour stock into the reserved chicken pan and use a wooden spoon to incorporate any drippings and continue to reduce over medium high heat until stock has thickened and will coat a spoon. Add the butter to the stock and reduce heat to keep to the sauce from breaking.  Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste, 





  • 2 (6 oz) chicken breast filet
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 (32 oz) carton unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 tbs coarse chopped parsley (for garnish)
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • 5 shallots (6 oz), coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 (12-oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • /2 tsp black pepper