Heard of it? We’re overwhelmed by it! We have come across about a thousand recipes for Chicken Monterey, and the only two things they have in common are that they include chicken and they spell Monterey with an e as the last vowel (which will be a huge help if you try to track down some of these recipes online). Type Chicken Monterey in one of the big search engines and you’ll find dozens, including Oven Fried Chicken Monterey, Monterey Chicken Rolls, Monterey Chicken Fajitas, as well as recipes from Purdue, Heinz, Pace, and various other companies.
The Silver Palate Cookbook (Canada, UK) has a recipe for Monterey Chicken. Is it the original or based on the original? We don’t know. But authors Julee Rosso and Shiela Lukins say, “Officially this is a fricassee – that is, the chicken is first partially cooked in butter or oil and is then finished in a liquid, in this case a mixture of orange juice, tomatoes and chicken stock. There is a bit of garlic, a touch of rosemary and a colorful garnish of sautéed vegetables. The whole dish is bright and fresh, reminding us of holidays in the sun.” Who could resist that?
Rosso and Lukins have you heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Pat a quartered chicken dry, season the pieces with salt and pepper, and cook gently in the oil for 5 minutes. Turn the chicken, season again, then cook for another 5 minutes. Don’t brown the chicken or you will overcook it. Remove chicken from skillet. Add a cup of chopped onions, two peeled and chopped carrots and four minced garlic cloves to the pan and cook, covered, over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Uncover the skillet and add 1 cup of chicken stock, 1/2 cup of orange juice (they’d like it to be fresh, please), 1/2 cup of crushed tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary. Season it with salt and pepper and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Return the chicken pieces to the pan and simmer further, 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is nearly done. Baste the pieces with the sauce and turn them once at the 15-minute mark. While that is cooking, core and julienne a red pepper and slice half a large summer squash and half a large zucchini on the diagonal. In another skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the pepper for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and yellow squash and season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat and toss the vegetables in the oil until they are tender but still firm, another 5 minutes or so. Transfer the vegetables to the skillet with the chicken and simmer together for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and orange zest and serve immediately.