Happy New Year everyone! The holiday’s proved to be a busy time, and along with that came a break from trying new recipes. During this time what I discovered is that this pregnancy has not just given me an aversion to flavors and foods I usually love. It has almost completely taken enjoying eating away from me. I have cut my portions in half, and even with that I have still been sick more days than not. The quantity is just as much a factor as what I am eating. To say that I am worn out from issues with food/eating is an understatement. But I decided there is no harm in trying new things and powering through this rut into the new year. So today I am sharing recipe 5 with you all, which just so happens to be amazing.
GRATIN`EED CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES IN CREAM SAUCE
SERVES 4 / ACTIVE TIME: 35 MINUTES / START TO FINISH 1 HOUR
2 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks, rinsed and patted dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California bay leaf
4 carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch thick pieces
2 cups frozen small onions, thawed and patted dry
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium broth
1 pound small boiling potatoes, peeled and halved
2/3 creme fraiche
1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
1 cup coarsely grated Gruyere
Special equipment: cheesecloth; kitchen string
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a 12-inch ovenproof deep heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides. Brown chicken, in batches if necessary, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan.
Wrap parsley, thyme, and bay leaf in a square of cheesecloth and tie with string to make a sachet. Add to skillet, along with carrots and onions, and stir to coat vegetables with fat. Add wine and deglaze by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, for 1 minute, then boil until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes more. Add stock and chicken, skin side up, with any juices accumulated on plate, bring to a simmer, and simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Add potatoes and salt and pepper to taste and simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard sachet.
Preheat broiler. Stir creme fraiche and peas into sauce, add salt and pepper to taste, and turn chicken in sauce to coat. Sprinkle all over with Gruyere and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until cheese is browned and sauce is bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes.
First let me say, before I was even able to make this recipe Derick cooked and ate the drumsticks so we ended up with just thighs. This was actually a good thing because once I started cooking this (in my 8 inch cast iron skillet) I realized there would have been no room for more chicken. Also, if you do 2 pounds of thighs and drumsticks it will feed closer to 6 people instead of 4. Second DO NOT forget to have some cheese cloth on hand. If you are in a pinch and you forgot like I did, just tie everything together and be gentle with it and it will be FINE.
I am a crazy person about chicken being fully cooked so I actually let my thighs cook closer to 12 minutes as I was browning them.
Now a few of you may be thinking “what in the world is “creme fraiche” and how do I get it? The answer to that is, it is in the sour cream family…but its french so I am sure it tastes much more fabulous. But I spent so much time in my grocery store looking for this, I was a popsicle by the time I left. They did not have it you all! So I bought the nicest looking organic sour cream I could find and I just WENT WITH IT. Also, am I the only one who never cooks with “frozen small onions”?! I was asking myself is this a real thing? But then I remembered a few occasions at parties and events where I saw those cute little onions and I knew those must be them. When I found them in the frozen section they were called “fancy onions” so go get some friends. You will be impressed.
At this point in the recipe you will basically want to kiss yourself your kitchen will smell so good. I honestly was talking to Derick (he was my right hand man…because again, when it comes to chicken I am weird and sometimes need his help) and we could not get over how amazing this was looking and smelling!
When we took this out of the oven both of us were ready to fight over who got to make their plate first. We both agreed this was one of the best things we had ever made or eaten at home. This is restaurant worthy friends. If you are having some friends over and really want to impress…this is a go to! This is something I will be making more often, but because it is so rich you almost feel like you are having dinner and dessert at the same time, we wont be adding it to the weekly rotation.