Going Ad-hoc at Home for the First TimeJanuary 18, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Posted in Dinner | 15 Comments
Ned was uuuuuber excited to receive this cookbook for Christmas. It is so popular I think it still may be on backorder! Thomas Keller is a genius and this is a really good cookbook to have around. So this dish consisted of chicken thighs, green olives and fennel and a really nice broth/sauce! The chicken thigh is such an underutilized part of the bird in my opinion. Ned went to Whole Foods to get a pack of them with skin on. We are going to try to get a significant percentage of the meat we buy from Whole Foods from now on, because we really want to do our part in supporting the ethical and classically natural way of raising meat. But we’ll still be sticking to Wegmans for everything else!
So this chicken broth/sauce made in this recipe was just exquisite! TK really knows how to develop solid flavor in such a short amount of time and this recipe was the perfect way to use my new Le Creuset that I purchased with gift cards (Thank you Auntie Martha and Mrs.W!!!) After recopying the recipe below I am delighted to see how simple TK’s language is in the recipes. It really speaks to the true nature of ad-hoc: relaxed and at home for your loved ones. Now go check out this recipe!
We made the whole recipe so we had leftovers for 2 days!! Total key for us since Ned is now working on his thesis every night after he comes home from work.
3 large fennel bulb (we only used one, based on his 3 cups direction, but seriously use all 3!)
12 chicken thighs
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup large green olives
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
4 fresh or 2 dried bay leaves
4 strips lemon zest- removed with a veggie peeler
8 thyme sprigs
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
Cut the fennel stalks. Trim the bottom of the bulbs and peel back the layers until you reach the core; reserve the core for another use. Discard any bruised layers, and the fennel into 1 by 1/2 inch batons. You need 3 cups for this recipe.
Preheat the oven to 375. Set a cooling rack on a baking sheet.
Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt. Heat some canola oil in a large ovenproof saute pan (yay for le creuset!) that will hold all of the thighs in one layer over medium high heat (I used both of my dutch ovens to accomplish this single layer deal). Add the thighs skin side down and brown on the skin side about 4 minutes. Turn the thighs over and cook for about 1 minute to sear the meat. Transfer to the cooling rack.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion to the pan, and cook for 1.5 minutes Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the fennel, turn the heat up to medium, and cook, stirring often, until the fennel is crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
Pour in the wine and simmer for 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Stir in the olives, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, lemon zest and thyme, then pour in the chicken stock. Increase the heat, bring the liquid to a simmer, and cook until the fennel is tender, about 1 minute.
Taste the stock and season with salt as needed. Return the chicken to the pan skin side up in a single layer. When the liquid returns to a boil, transfer to the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Turn on the broiler, and put the pan under the broiler for a minute or two to crisp and brown the chicken skin. Remove from the oven, and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with the parsley leaves.