On a recent visit to Austin my brother-in-law gave me a packet of dried morels and asked me to create a dish for them. Though this is a dish I’ve made many many times I thought it would be the perfect recipe for the morels plus it’s fairly fool proof. (Let’s see if Ron will try his hand at cooking this!) Luckily, braising meats is dead easy, eliminates the risk of drying out meat and always adds great flavour. The key with slow cooking, as I’ve mentioned before, is layering flavours. Searing the chicken, sauteing the mushrooms, adding garlic, well you get it. The more flavours you add the more intense and tasty the end result will be. Stands to reason, right?
I recently made this for a drop-off menu (did you know I can make dinner for you and drop it off?) and they said their 2 year old loved the mushrooms (if you’re a parent, this got the tot’s seal of approval) and they said it was even better the next day. Gotta love delicious leftovers!
1 whole organic or grass fed chicken – portioned (2 breasts, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings)
6 shallots – peeled
8 oz baby bella mushrooms
1 ounce dried morel mushrooms or 1/2 lb fresh
1 x 8 oz jar baby artichokes
1 bunch fresh tarragon – wrapped like a bouquet garni
2 large bay leaves
4 cloves garlic – minced
1/2 white wine (whatever’s in your fridge)
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 380°F.
Begin by seasoning & searing each chicken piece in 2 tbsp olive oil, either on a grill on in a large saute pan (high heat, 3 minutes each side) until browned on all sides. Place in a large over proof casserole dish.
In the same saute pan (if using, otherwise grab one) add 3 tbsp olive oil and saute the fresh bella mushrooms for 3 minutes (3 tbsp might look like a lot of oil but the mushrooms soak it up). Add shallots & garlic and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Add white wine and cook for another minute. After cooking wine add everything to the chicken along with the tarragon, bay leaves, morel mushrooms, artichokes and broth.
Cover with foil and place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours or until the chicken is fork tender. Pretty straightforward, right?
NOTE: You’ll notice in my photo above the skin looks crispy and dark. It was a little experiment that paid off. Here’s what I did:
As soon as the chicken was cooked in the oven, I removed all the pieces, placed them on a foiled oven tray and put them under the broiler. With the chicken having been braised it’s full of moisture so putting it under the broiler won’t dry it out. It simply makes the skin lovely and crispy while keeping the inside moist. Now I’m not advocating eating the skin because it’s just fat but if you just simply can’t say no to it or even if you’re entertaining guests this method looks and tastes great. This, of course is an optional step.
Ron, here’s your chance to show off some skills my man!
All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients.