About The Saturday Chef

Midwest, United States
I am NOT a professional chef. I am what I affectionately dub a Saturday Chef—a weekend warrior of the culinary variety, fortified by the education I have gleaned from two high school cooking classes, the Food Network and my own gastronomical experiments. While I’m not ashamed to spend all day making bagels by hand, and proudly call myself a foodie, I’m not a food snob. I enjoy an Extra Value Meal as much as the next girl. My culinary escapades are still relegated to the weekends, but my love for cooking is stronger than ever, galvanized by more successes than failures, and the beautiful fact that the more I cook, the more people there are to feed. So please stay tuned for fun recipes, inevitable disasters and hopefully, a lot of good food.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Braised Chicken Thighs with Artichokes and Sweet Peas

Adapted from recipe in Gourmet Magazine, January 2007 found on epicurious.com

One-pot wonders, in fall and winter especially, are my favorite things to make and eat. I’m not a big fan of soups, but cooking and then curling into a hot bowl of meat, vetables and starch is simply wonderful. This surprisingly healthy recipe was an instant favorite with my family, and will be made many, many times during the rainy fall and snowy winter.

*Recipe has been doubled
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
8 large chicken thighs with skin and bone (2 pounds total)
Black pepper
Olive oil
½ large leek, chopped (pale green and white parts only)1/3 to 1/2 large onion, chopped
1 cup dry white wine*
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and quartered lengthwise
1 cup frozen baby peas
Put flour in a shallow bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and generously with pepper, then dredge, 1 piece at a time, in flour, shaking off excess. Transfer to plate.

Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons in the biggest skillet you have (12” or bigger) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté chicken, skinned sides down first, turning over once, until deep golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes total. It will be easier to do this in batches as not to crowd the pan. The chicken will still be mostly raw. Transfer back to plate.

Add leeks and onions, and a little more olive oil to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until vegetables start to brown, about 6 minutes. Season vegetables lightly with salt and pepper if you like. Add wine and scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon until wine begins to boil, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in broth, artichokes, and season a little more.

Return chicken to skillet along with any juices from plate and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover skillet and reduce heat, then simmer until chicken is tender, about 30-35 minutes. Test the chicken to make sure it is done and has reached desired tenderness. Stir in peas and simmer, covered for 5 minutes. Serve immediately with white rice.
*Note: I honestly do not drink a lot of alcohol, so I’m learning my Pinots from my Sauvingons. I only use wine for cooking, and I found that buying the 4-pack of Cavit Pinot works wonders for my cooking, at least. Also, this recipe needs little seasoning. I seasoned every layer, chicken, flour, leeks and oinions with a lighter hand, and I only used salt and pepper. The artichokes add a tart brightness to the dish.

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