|Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Shiitakes, Ramps and Asparagus|
...and we'll close April on a positive note: Before I begin, I must thank Kelli of The Domestically Impaired Guide to the Retro Kitchen Arts for choosing me as the winner for her cake pan giveaway. I'll prepare a dish using the pan in the near future.
One aspect of food I haven't properly addressed here is cooking with and eating seasonal ingredients. It wasn't a mindful decision because I've primarily been so focused on challenging food preparation I hadn't considered it consciously. Recently, however, I have started to become more aware partially because I have started to shift the focus of challenges from preparation to choosing harmonious flavor combinations and contrasts. So about a month ago, I viewed a slideshow on Delish reminding me of vegetables that are about to come into season. One of the vegetables on the list that stood out are ramps because I hadn't seen them in any supermarkets. My curiosity peaked because they were so elusive so when my friend, Chef Robert Dasalla of , offered some samples from his inventory, I jumped at his offer.
Prepare a dish using a new (to me) ingredient.
Adapted from pages 156-157 of Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio with Catherine Young, Lori Silverbush and Sean Fri. Chef Colicchio used poussins in his dish, but I substituted fully grown thighs due to availability.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced thin
1/2 pound fresh ramps, cleaned and trimmed
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed of the dry bottoms, small leaves peeled, with the spears cut into 4-inch lengths
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and thinly sliced on the bias
1/4 cup chicken stock
1. Add the oil to a large skillet and place over medium heat until just smoking. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Brown the chicken (about 5 minutes per side) on both sides, working in batches if necessary then set aside.
2. Add the shiitakes to the skillet, then the asparagus and ramps. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently until the shiitakes begin to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Return the chicken to the pan then add the butter and thyme. Cook, basting the chicken and vegetables in the melting butter, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the sugar snap peas and and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, in 1 tablespoon portions, reducing the chicken stock to a glaze before adding additional stock. Meanwhile, cook, turning the vegetables and chicken in the sauce until all the stock has been added and the juices from the chicken run clear.
Yes! The ramps pungent flavor contrasted well with the sweetness of the peas and the savory mushrooms. Mrs. Stuntman requested I prepare this dish again. If only I could get my hands on some more ramps...