Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Maybe you're starting to notice that I really like Monday nights. It's defensible, I think. Monday is the only night of the week where I don't have to be anywhere. Don't get it confused. It not that I dislike those things that occupy every other night of the week, It's just that I like having one to myself where I make dinner when and if I please and eat it on my own couch with a glass a wine a book called something like Style: Toward Clarity and Grace and generally feel like a whole person. Yep, I may be the only one, but I love Monday.

So when I got home from school last night I settled in with a short-stack of Gourmets and Bon Apetit's and was all business. I even went straight to the recipe index. It was serious. In the end though, the recipe I settled on came off the wondrous epicurious. ( So did that picture, don't get too excited about it.) The recipe, Chicken in Riesling, was comfort food at it finest. That is to say, it contains all the usual suspects: chicken, potatoes, carrots and cream. But the kicker was, it wasn't bland! It was tasty of its own merit, not just because it reminded you of grandma and warm kitchens as a kid. Because, lets be honest: we like comfort food because it easy, its warm, and we know what we're getting. And this recipe? I anticipate it it getting even easier, as
I plan to make it often in the coming months.

Chicken in Riesling, from Gourmet with some changes

1 1.5 Lb package chicken thighs and one split chicken breast
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped (2 cups)
1.5 cups or so sliced cremini mushrooms (my addition)
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
4 medium carrots, halved diagonally (I used 2 hadfuls of baby carrots)
1 cup dry white wine (preferably Alsatian Riesling)(this is a story in and of it self, see below)
1 1/2 pound small (2-inch) red potatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
Fresh lemon juice to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and a rounded 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil with 1 tablespoon butter in a wide 3 1/2- to 5-quart heavy ovenproof pot over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then brown chicken in 2 batches, turning once, about 10 minutes total per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Meanwhile, wash leeks and pat dry.

Pour off fat from pot, then cook leeks, shallot,mushrooms, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in remaining 2 tablespoons butter, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until leeks are pale golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add chicken, skin sides up, with any juices from plate, carrots, and wine and boil until liquid is reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Cover pot and braise chicken in oven until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

While chicken braises, peel potatoes (I like potato skins and hate peeling potatoes...it was fine), then generously cover with cold water in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain in a colander, then return to saucepan. Add parsley and shake to coat.

Stir crème fraîche into chicken mixture and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, then add potatoes.

....And then the roommate and boyfriend at it all. Or at least tried to. I claimed the left over though. (Gotta stand yr ground). The end.

PS story
So the wine. I got real excited when I saw this called for Alsatian Riesling because I somehow convinced myself that I order one at work that no one ever buys and this would give me the perfect opportunity to try it. I was...close, but, wrong. What I have is Alsace One, which a blend. Funny thing is, I bought it, opened it, cooked with it, drank some.... and it tasted like olives (I'm serious! olives! it wasn't bad. just...interesting .Check it out. No one ever buys it, you'd be doing me a favor too.). Only then did I realize that it wasn't a Riesling at all. Doh.

Disclaimer regarding post title: I have no idea what that means or what compelled my manager to run all over the store saying it, out of context, for the year or so he was in Ann Arbor. If you can see inside Kwinn's brain, lemme know.


Shana said...

I made that recipe earlier this year and it was fabulous. Good for you for standing your ground with the roommate and boyfriend. Leftovers are the spoils of a chef.

I'm curious - do you work at a wine shop?

yourmyhero024 said...

funny thing sissy. the first thing i thought was DAMN that picture looks so, professional, and man i didnt know sissy had such a sweet pot, and low and behold, you borrowed the picture. lol i love you. and i think that you need to make me this. (by me i mean like this household)