Free Potluck Party This Wednesday at Brooklyn Kitchen; Plus the Recipe for Their Cast-Iron Chicken with Bacon & Sauerkraut

In honor of the publication of the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and the fifth-year anniversary of The Brooklyn Kitchen–one of the featured contributors in the book, naturally–we’re inviting you to a potluck Wednesday night, November 9. It’ll be held in the classrooms at the Kitchen at 100 Frost Street, right at Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg, and starts at 6:30 p.m.

The story behind Harry and Taylor’s cast-iron chicken is just as delicious as the dish.

In honor of the publication of the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and the fifth-year anniversary of The Brooklyn Kitchen–one of the featured contributors in the book, naturally–we’re inviting you to a potluck Wednesday night, November 9.

It’ll be held in the classrooms at the Kitchen at 100 Frost Street, right at Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg, and starts at 6:30 p.m.

It’s free; it’s open to everyone who shows up with a dish or snack to share; you can make anything you want; and with any luck we’ll have a keg of beer from Brooklyn Brewery, another featured contributor, of course. If we’re even luckier, Harry and Taylor of the kitchen will make the Cast Iron Chicken with Bacon and Sauerkraut featured on page 63. Here’s the recipe, and the story behind it, in case you want to make it too.

CAST-IRON CHICKEN WITH BACON AND SAUERKRAUT
From Harry Rosenblum and Taylor Erkkinen, co-owners of The Brooklyn Kitchen
Serves 4

As the couple behind what has to be Brooklyn’s most beloved kitchen store and cooking school (see profile, page 42) Harry Rosenblum and Taylor Erkkinen are the type of cooks skilled at blending recipes from many sources and making use of what they have on hand—which in this case includes a Bulgarian chicken recipe, a primo bird from their in-house butcher shop, and an 50-pound bag of carrots that literally fell off a produce truck. After reading a tweet about the drop from Eagle Street Rooftop’s farmer Annie Novak, who passed it en route to work— “Major spill of produce at Williamsburg and Kent streets!”—Rosenblum grabbed the bag and decided to make a ginger-carrot kraut. He and Taylor ended up with gallons of the stuff and eventually used it in this brilliant Eastern European– inflected dish, made all the more wonderful with the addition of bacon and smoked paprika. You don’t have to make your own kraut for the dish, but if you do, rest assured you can buy all the equipment you need at The Brooklyn Kitchen.

1⁄2 LB SLAB BACON, DICED
1 WHOLE (3–4 LB) CHICKEN, QUARTERED
SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
1 LARGE OR 2 SMALL ONIONS, CHOPPED
VEGETABLE OIL, IF NECESSARY
2 SMALL SPRIGS THYME
1 BAY LEAF
1 TSP CRUSHED RED PEPPER FLAKES
1 TSP SWEET SMOKED PAPRIKA
1 LB SAUERKRAUT
1⁄2 CUP CHICKEN STOCK OR WATER

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2 Render the fat from the bacon in a large cast-iron skillet or oven-
proof pan set over medium heat. Remove the bacon and set aside.
3 Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste on all sides, and brown in the bacon fat. Transfer to a plate. Brown the onions in bacon fat, adding a bit of oil if necessary. Add the thyme, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and paprika, and sauté briefly. Return the bacon to the pan and stir to mix in. Add the sauerkraut to the pan and stir to mix. Arrange the chicken pieces around the top of the pan on top of the sauerkraut and add the stock.
4 Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the chicken, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, checking the chicken pieces for doneness after 30 minutes. (If the pan begins to dry out, add a bit more stock.) The chicken is cooked when the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F. Serve the chicken immediately with plenty of sauerkraut and pan juices.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.