Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Really Good Chicken Dinner

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Can you believe its already May?!?!?!!?!  I only have a month left to take advantage of living in one of my now favorite places in the world...

I know its a bit early for an end of the school year wrap up, but I'm glad I got rejected from all the schools I thought I wanted to go to, because I feel at home here.

I don't really know what to call this dish other than a "Really Good Chicken Dinner".  I don't dare call it the Ultimate Chicken Dinner because then that just opens up a can of clusterf*cks.  But seriously, this is one of the dinners I'm more proud of because everything just seemed to work out perfectly. 

I originally planned this meal by shopping from Whole Foods, thinking they'd be the only place I could find those beautiful skinny carrots that I could roast whole.  However after realizing I'd be breaking spending twice the amount of money I intended, I begrudgingly went to Albertsons, only to find that they had the same exact skinny carrots for less than half the price.


When making the wine sauce, I couldn't find a way to get rid of the acidity no matter how long I reduced it, so I added some maple syrup, which worked out perfectly (please don't use Aunt Jemima).

Really Good Chicken Dinner


for the chicken and veggies 
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken legs
salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4-1/2 cup of chicken stock
crimini mushrooms, cleaned and halved.
2 sprigs thyme
8-12 thin carrots, peeled and trimmed
2 leeks, washed, trimmed, and wedged into sixths
1 pound of baby red or gold potatoes
3/4- 1 pound of crimini mushrooms, cleaned and halved.

for the wine reduction
2 large shallots, minced
1 sprig of thyme
2 cups of red wine
1 cup of chicken stock
1/4 cup of cognac
1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of cold butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a saute pan with high sides or a dutch oven, heat the butter and olive oil on high heat.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper.

Sear on medium high to high heat on both sides until golden brown.  Remove from the pan and drain off most of the fat.   Sear the mushrooms until golden brown, season with salt and pepper, and remove from the pan.  Add back the chicken pieces, chicken stock, and thyme, and simmer on low with the lid on for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked through.

Meanwhile, to prepare the carrots, peel the skins off and trim off the stems leaving a quarter inch.  If necessary, split some of the carrots in half lengthwise, but otherwise leave most of them whole.  For the leeks, cut off the tough, green tops and peel off the outer layer if necessary.  Leaving the stem in tact, wedge the leeks into six pieces, and run them under the sink to wash off all of the dirt between the layers.

Place the carrots, leeks, and baby potatoes on a sheet pan, and toss liberally with the reserved chicken fat, salt, and pepper.  Roast for about an hour until slightly caramelized and tender. 

Once the chicken is done cooking, remove from pan.  Add some of the reserved chicken fat and saute shallots until tender.  Deglaze the pan with cognac, and then add the red wine, the remaining chicken stock and thyme.  Set the heat on high and reduce until the it almost reaches your desired thickness.  Off the heat, puree the sauce, and strain it back in to the pot.  Season with salt and pepper, and add maple syrup until the acidity of the wine is offset.  While this is happening, keep the chicken, mushrooms, and roasted vegetables warm in the oven.

Add maple syrup until the acidity is to your liking.  Off the heat swirl in the cold butter slowly and gently.

To serve, ladle enough sauce to completely cover the plate.  Arrange the roasted vegetables roughly in a circle, and top with a chicken leg and thigh.  Serve with a glass of wine and a crusty baguette.


  1. I hate to say it, but I loves me some of that fake maple syrup... :)

  2. WOW! This is really an amazing and attractive post about nice dinner with chicken. I appreciate your posted wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post.