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A delicious winter meal

The key is choosing the best ingredients for these recipes.
/ Source: TODAY

Tom Colicchio, chef and owner of Craft and Gramercy Tavern in New York City, shares recipes from his new book, “The Craft of Cooking.”

Braised Chicken


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

3 chickens (have the butcher separate the front legs, loins and back legs - leave on bone)

1 red onion, peeled and minced

1 celery stick, minced

1 medium carrot, peeled and minced

2 cups dry white wine

10 whole peeled plum tomatoes (canned or fresh)

6 sprig fresh rosemary

1 cup pitted nicoise olives

6 cups brown chicken stock

3 tablespoons finely chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley

Mince zest of 1 lemon


Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a large high-sided ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Add oil.  Salt & pepper the chicken and add to fill but not crowd the pan.  Brown on both sides, about 20 minutes in all, then transfer to a plate.  Repeat until all chicken is cooked.

Add the onion, celery, carrot, salt & pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and nicely browned, about 30 minutes.  Pour in wine and reduce by about half.  Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands or wooden spoon, then add rosemary & olives.  cook for a minute or so, then fit the chicken in snugly into the pan.  Add enough stock to not quite cover the rabbit and bring to a simmer.

Transfer the pan to the oven and braise, uncovered, at a slow bubble.  Cook the chicken, turning it once or twice, until it is so tender it almost falls off the bone. about 1.5 hours.  Degrease the braising liquid if necessary and serve the rabbit with chopped parsley mixed with lemon zest and a little olive oil.

Fennel salad


3 medium fennel bulbs

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Fennel fronds for garnish


Core the fennel and remove any discolored outer layers.  Slice the fennel as thin as possible.  Dress the fennel with lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper.  Serve garnished with fennel fronds

Sautéed Swiss chard


2 pounds Swiss Chard

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large garlic clove, peeled and sliced

Freshly ground black pepper


Trim any discolored stems or leaves from the chard.  Separate the leaves from the stems, then wash both in several changes of water.  Cut the stems into 2 1/2 inch pieces.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the leaves, refresh them in ice water, then blot dry with a clean towel.  Add the stems and cook until almost tender… about 3 minutes.  Drain the stems, then refresh them in ice water.  Set aside with the leaves.

Combine the olive oil, garlic in a large skillet and warm over low heat.  When the garlic begins to color add the chard leaves and stems.  Warm the chard in the garlic-infused oil just until tender, about 5 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper.



6 cups chicken stock

2 cups polenta

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter


Bring the stock to a boil over high heat in a large sauce pan. Whisking constantly, gradually add the polenta in a thin stream.  Whisk until the polenta comes to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to medium low.  Season with salt & pepper and gently simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until polenta no longer tastes grainy, about 45 minutes.  Stir in butter, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Roasted fruit


2 tablespoons clarified butter, melted

3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 vanilla bean

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup apple cider


Work in batches.  Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Brush the pan with clarified butter and add 1 sliced apple.  Add the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean.  Sprinkle the apples with one third of the sugar and cook until the sugar melts -- about 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low, add one third of the butter and cook until the apple slices are golden on one side, 5-10 minutes.  Flip the apples and cook until the second sides begin to color - about 3-5 minutes more.  Remove the apples from the pan and set aside on a plate in a warm place.  Repeat, reusing the cinnamon and vanilla, until all the apples are cooked.

To serve, increase the heat to medium and deglaze the skillet with the apple cider.  Allow the cider to reduce to a syrup, about 5 minutes.  Return the apples to the pan and warm them in the syrup.  Serve immediately.

Roasted fruit


1/4 cup sugar

3 bananas

1 to 2 tablespoons clarified butter


Place the sugar in a small saucepan and add about 1 tablespoon water (enough water so the mixture looks like damp sand). Heat the sugar over high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it melts and turns amber.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons water.

Heat the over 350-degrees.  Peel the bananas, split them lengthwise, than cut each half into thirds crosswise.  Heat a large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the clarified butter, than add the bananas, cut side down. Transfer the skillet to the oven.  Roast the bananas until they are lightly browned, 7-10 minutes.  Flip the bananas, add the caramel and continue roasting until the bananas are golden and the syrup is slightly thickened, about 7 minutes more.  Baste the bananas with the caramel and serve.