As i mentioned in a previous post, I've taken on a summer challenge to get back in the kitchen with my newly acquired CSA. I love the surprise of veggies I get each Thursday, and even though its about 1,000 degrees in my kitchen, I'm determined not to let that stop me from cooking the bounty of the garden this summer.
This is a spin off of one of my favorites- french roasted chicken, featured earlier in this blog. Scaled down to just 2 servings (and using just one pan), this chicken makes a beautiful and thoughtful presentation for a date, or an intimate Sunday supper when pared with my easy lemon baby broccoli. You can substitute chicken breasts, but in my experience, nothing tastes quite like a roast chicken than a juicy thigh with a little crispy skin. Keeping the bone in keeps the thigh moist and flavorful, and makes overcooking almost impossible.
Made with some super star local ingredients; broccoli, chicken thighs, shiitake mushrooms and garlic, this is one pleasing recipe you'll want to make over and over.
Lemon Baby Broccoli
1/2 pound baby broccoli, washed and trimmed
1 1/2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
the juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a stainless steel pan over medium high heat. While the pan is heating, cut baby broccoli into quarters, or halves if the stems are small. Add the oil to the pan, and heat the oil until it starts to smoke slightly. Add the baby broccoli to the pan, cut side down and sear on each side for approximately 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and water and increase heat to high. boil off the water, and remove the broccoli when it is just fork tender. I like my broccoli with a little bite to it, so i keep it on the more al dente side of things.
Prepare the pan for the chicken by wiping out any excess oil or water with a paper towel.
Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs
2 bone in chicken thighs, skin on.
2 tablespoons herbes de provence
1 teaspoon kosher/sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
Heat a stainless steel pan over medium high heat. While the pan is heating, wash and dry the chicken thighs. Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper and herbes de provence. Rub the herbs into the chicken, being careful not to remove the skin. Place the chicken in the pan, skin side down and sear for approximately 5-7 minutes, or until the skin releases from the pan and is golden brown. (if the skin is still sticking, it isn't ready to turn yet) Turn the chicken over and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is done. The chicken is done when the juices run clear near the bone, is springy and firm to the touch, or when an instant read thermometer reads 175 in the fattest section of the meat, making sure to touch the bone when taking the temperature. Set aside the chicken to rest and prepare the pan for the sauce.
Shiitake Mushroom Cream Sauce
1 cup shiitake mushrooms-stems removed and sliced. If mushrooms are dirty, rub them lightly with a damp towel, don't wash.
1/4 cup good quality cream sherry mixed with 3 tablespoons tap water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 garlic clove, minced finely
salt and pepper to taste
Remove most of the extra fat/oil from the pan previously used for the chicken thighs, leaving about a tablespoon to cook the mushrooms. Heat the oil over medium high heat, until the oil shimmers and starts to smoke a little. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until the mushrooms start to brown. When the mushrooms are seared nicely on each side, add the sherry/water mixture and deglaze the pan, scraping up bits of fond as you go. when the liquid has reduced by 2/3, remove from the heat and add heavy cream and minced garlic. Add any juices that have collected on the plate holding the rested chicken thighs, stir well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Plate the chicken, and pour over the mushroom sauce. Bon appetite, and try not to lick the plate in front of company.
I got this olive oil at the greek festival, and it is technicolor green, fruity and delicious.