Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pan Seared Chicken with Vegetables

Last week was a bit cooler, gray, and rainy. It looked like fall outside. What a perfect opportunity for some comfort food! This dinner filled our apartment up with warm and familiar scents, and made us really feel like it was November.

I took this recipe out of the March 2008 issue of Gourmet, generously provided by my good friend, Sasha. Sasha and her fiancee, Phil, are both wonderful and avid cooks! The original title is "Chicken in Riesling", but we didn't feel much like buying a bottle of wine to just use one cup for cooking. I think the wine would have added more flavor, but it was just fine with out. When I was at the store, they only had packages of chicken breasts with the skin and rib meat, no whole chickens, thighs, or pick-of-the-chicks. The recipe calls for 1 whole chicken, and I think that would have worked out much better, since the breast meet gets a bit more dry than everything else. And finally, the recipe calls for you to skin the potatoes, but then you are throwing away flavor, color, and nutrients!

In general, this was pretty good. Very comforting, easy, and a bit different from just baking chicken (but just about as easy). I should have seared my skin sides a bit more, and I think next time I make this I might brine it the night before, just so the chicken stays nice and moist. Greg and I also think that the presentation is nice. It's a bit rustic since you can present everything in the same dish it has been cooked in, but I think that adds to its charm!


About 3.5 lbs of chicken with bone and skin
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
3 TBS butter, divided
4 leaks chopped or 2 C. sweet onion chopped
4 Medium carrots, halved
6 asparagus sprigs, cut into half
1.5 lbs small redskin potatoes
2 TBS fresh chopped parsley
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. lemon juice

-Heat oven to 350 degrees
-Rub chicken with salt and pepper.
-Heat oil with 1 TBS of butter in a wide oven proof pot or cast iron.
-Brown chicken in 2 batches. Transfer to a plate.
-Pour off fat from chicken. Add 2 TBS butter, leaks/onion and salt. Stir until golden.
-Add chicken, skin side up. Add carrots and asparagus. Add 1 C. of water or wine, boil until the liquid is reduced by half (about 4 minutes)
-Cover the pot and bake until the chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes.
-While chicken is baking, clean and boil potatoes until they are just tender. Drain, sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper.
-Stir in heavy cream to the chicken, add potatoes and lemon juice.