|Braised Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms and Almond Purée|
I have decided to post here less frequently (and as the budget allows) but, especially after my last post, make each dish I publish here count. In other words, quality will trump quantity here. However, it occurred to me recently that I haven't posted a while.
I actually prepared this dish a couple of months ago, but held it back because the preparation wasn't very challenging. After preparing Chef Chiarello's chicken cacciatore dish a few times after I initially wrote about it last year, I must agree with him when he notes that the thigh meat is ideal for braising because they are one of the moistest part of the chicken.
So, hopefully this will hold your attention until I can prepare more challenging food. Might I suggest it for a weeknight dinner to impress some last minute guests?
Page 150 to 151 of Cook Like A Rock Star by Anne Burrell with Suzanne Lenzer
Mise En Place
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
2 onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
2 pounds assorted mushrooms (such as shitake, oyster, or cremini) trimmed, cleaned and sliced
1 cup dry white wine
4 to 6 cups chicken stock
1 thyme bundle, tied with butcher's twine
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted
Fresh chives, chopped (for garnish)
1. Coat a large wide straight-sided pan with olive oil and bring to high heat. Season the chicken generously with salt and add it, skin side down, to the pan-you should hear a big sizzle. If you don't, remove the chicken and wait. When you put the chicken in the pan, the first thing it wants to do is stick there and the first thing you want to do is move it. Resist the urge. It will unstick itself when it's ready. When the skin is brown and crispy, 5 to 7 minutes, turn the chicken over and brown the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve.
2. Ditch the fat and lower the heat. Add another splash of olive oil to the pan and add the onions. Season with salt and red pepper and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and aromatic, then add the garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add the mushrooms and season with salt, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until soft and aromatic. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Return the chicken to the pan, pour in enough stock to almost cover the chicken, and add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes. Add a little more stock if the liquid level gets low.
5. While the chicken cooks, purée the almonds in a food processor. Once they are ground, drizzle a little olive oil while the machine is running to make a loose paste. Season with salt and reserve.
6. When the chicken has simmered for 30 minutes, remove it from the pan and reserve; remove the bay leaves and thyme bundle and discard. Stir the almond purée into the sauce and taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer to thicken the sauce if needed. Serve the chicken draped with the sauce and garnished with chives.
I followed the instructions exactly, but ultimately found it over seasoned because salt was added to the dish in steps 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6.
Again, thanks for checking in and I have more crazy foodie stunts planned for the near future.
Update: March 18, 2013
This is an updated presentation of the dish. Have I improved my photography?