Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Artichokes, Leeks and Tarragon cooked over baby potatoes. A simple spring dinner to highlight the season’s bounty.
This braised chicken recipe sings of Spring with fresh artichoke hearts, tarragon and leeks. The star of this dish is easily fresh artichokes- and it’s best to save this recipe until they are in season and in abundance. Not only will they be less expensive, they will be at their peak of flavor.
Pieces of chicken thighs are simply seasoned with kosher salt and pepper and seared in a skillet. In the same pan, fresh artichoke hearts are sauteed with leeks and baby potatoes, then de-glazed with vermouth (or white wine) and chicken stock. Fresh tarragon leaves and lemon zest are added along with a tiny little bit of cream. The chicken thighs are nestled down in this lovely spring goodness, and it all goes in the oven for a bit. When it comes out, the chicken is juicy and crispy, and the artichokes flavorful and tender. A delicious one-pot meal.
We’ve had a unusually warm Spring here and our city is exploding with blossoms.
Mothers day came and went, and the dogwood we planted (for my mother) burst out in white, shouting, I’m still here. The Lilies of the Valley returned quietly, laden with tiny white bells, unbelievably fragrant.
I’ve been thinking about flowers lately. How quickly they bloom… and then go – their sole purpose being opening,
becoming fully what they are, no matter how temporary.
Last evening, while walking through the lilac grove, smelling each one, I thought to myself (a little morbidly) that I probably only have forty more springs to experience all this loveliness, if I’m lucky. And suddenly all the blossoms and all the flower smells in the night air…seemed so much more important.
This morning, as I study at the sleepy blossoms outside my window, I wonder, will I ever fully open? Some things just can’t be forced. We are, what we are when we are. But today at least, I feel somewhat willing.
Through the years, I’ve been a witness to this in others- the gradual opening of those close to me. Watching them become more and more of who they are. It is a beautiful thing to behold. It moves me.
Prepare a bowl of cold water with lemon juice. This will keep the artichoke hearts from browning. Working quickly, one artichoke at a time, snap off the tough outer petals. I like to save mine for the next day, in a zip lock bag. These can be blanched, marinated and then grilled for a tasty side or appetizer. Here is a marinade for grilled artichokes that I use repeatedly with good success.
Once the tough green petals are snapped off, you will see silky yellow petals which must come off too. Just pull them off with your fingers. Remember to work quickly to prevent browning.
Finally, you will get to the fine thread-like filaments. These are inedible, even when cooked, so using a spoon, firmly and gently pry them off.
If you get the edge of your spoon, in just the right spot, they will come off easily.
Once these are off, using a sharp paring knife, quickly trim the artichoke edges and stem- removing the tough skin of the stem and the bottom 1/2 inch or so. Immediately immerse in a bowl of cold lemon water, to help prevent browning.
You can cut a whole chicken into pieces, or use chicken thighs. Pat dry, sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and sear in a hot skillet. I usually cook the bottom side longer than the tops, because the tops will brown in the oven, and you don’t want them overly brown. Once seared, set them aside.
After draining off some of the chicken fat, in the same pan, you will saute the leeks, artichokes and potatoes with a little butter.
For this dish, I use tiny baby potatoes, just cut in half. Whatever potatoes you use, make sure they are cut to about a 1/2 inch thick, so they cook to the proper done-ness.
When ready to saute the artichokes, pull them out of the lemon water and slice them to 1/4 inch thick.
Sometimes I’ll throw in some pearl onions. Mushrooms would taste good too. Or fresh English peas. Or caramelized fennel bulb. Make it your own.
This recipe calls for a 1/4 cup of fresh tarragon, which to me, pairs really well with artichoke hearts. But, if you are not a fan of tarragon, fresh sage is a really good alternative.
Once the artichokes, leeks and potatoes are just tender, after about 10 minutes, de-glaze with Vermouth (or white wine). Bring to a boil and reduce by half, about 5 minutes.
Add stock, lemon zest and fresh tarragon and a little half and half. Once simmering, give a quick stir and taste for salt. You may need to add a pinch of salt and pepper. Nestle chicken into it so the undersides are immersed in the liquid and skin sides are up. Place in a hot 425F oven for 20-30 minutes or until thighs register 180F or breasts reach 160F. If not crisp enough, place under the broiler for a few minutes.
When it comes out, it will be fragrant and delicious. Serve with crusty bread, a salad and white wine.
Braised Crispy Chicken Thighs with Artichoke hearts, leeks, potatoes and tarragon- a delicious one-pan recipe perfect for spring!
Hope you enjoy this recipe and leave your notes in the comments below!
- 4 large artichokes, trimmed and sliced
- one lemon, zest and juice.
- 6 chicken thighs (bone in skin on)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter, divided.
- 1 large leek, sliced and rinsed, drained.
- 2 cups tiny potatoes sliced ( 1/4 thick in pieces)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
- 1/2 cup vermouth or white wine.
- 1 Cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1/2 Cup half and half
- 1/4 cup fresh tarragon, divided
- Optional Addtions: Mushrooms, ramps, pearl onions, fresh English peas, fennel bulb
Zest the lemon, set zest aside.
Prep the artichokes. Fill a med bowl with 4 cups cold water and squeeze with the juice from the lemon. Because artichokes will easily brown, work on one at a time as quickly as possible. Snap off all the hard out leaves using your fingers ( Save for later) With a sharp paring knife, trim off all the outer green skin around the base and stem, keeping the stem in tact. Remove the yellowish soft leaves and using a spoon, gently scrape away the white or purple silk like threads. Immediately place in the lemon water, to prevent browning. Slice just before placing in the skillet.
Preheat oven to 425F. Pat chicken dry and season with kosher salt and pepper. Heat 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil in a heavy bottom oven proof skillet over med high heat. Place chicken skin side down and sear for until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown undersides until golden, about 7-8 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Drain some of the chicken fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon oil in the pan. Add 1 tablespoon more butter. Add leeks, sliced artichokes, sliced potatoes and fennel seeds. Saute on med heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they just begin to soften. Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper.
Deglaze the pan with vermouth (or white wine). Reduce by half, about 4 minutes. Add stock, mustard and fennel seeds, half and half, half of the fresh tarragon and 1/2 of the zest. Give a stir, bring to a simmer, and taste broth adjusting salt and pepper. Nestle the chicken pieces into the stew with skin sides up, and roast in a hot 425 F oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden, and thigh internal temp is 170F, or breast internal temp is 160F. If needed, broil for a couple minutes to get skin extra crispy.
Garnish with remaining lemon zest and fresh tarragon before serving.
Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs With Artichokes
Chocolate Magic Flan Cake combines two favorite desserts in one! Part moist chocolate cake and part creamy custard, it’s the ultimate sweet treat!
Impossible Chocolate Flan Cake is easy to make and sure to wow the crowd. A luscious combination of caramel, chocolate cake, and (leche) flan, it’s the ultimate baked treat!
If you love a moist chocolate cake and a creamy flan, you are in luck. I am going to show you how to make a stunning Impossible flan cake that combines these two dessert favorites in one delectable treat!
The cake is made up of three components and baked in a bundt pan. The layering starts with the dulce de leche, followed by the chocolate batter and, finally, the flan. As it bakes, the cake rises to the top, and the custard sinks to the bottom.
Once the cake is released from the pan and inverted the cake on the serving platter, you’ll find that the chocolate and flan layer have magically switched places! You get a gorgeous cake with a luscious caramel glaze sitting on top.
How to make
Chocolate cake layer
- To prevent lumps in the batter, make sure that the milk and eggs are at room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and fluffy.
- Add the egg and continue to beat.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and add half of the mixture into the mixing bowl.
- Add half of the milk. Beat the mixture until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
- Add the remaining half of the dry mixture and the milk and beat just until the ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix as it will result in a dense cake.
- In a mixing bowl, combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir until well incorporated.
- Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a spouted container.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Grease a 12-cup bundt pan with softened butter and add the dulce de leche, swirling to cover the bottom of the bundt pan.
- Spoon the chocolate batter on top of the dulce de leche, making sure to fill the pan evenly. Using an angled spatula, smoothen the top.
- Carefully pour the flan mixture over the chocolate batter.
- Cover the bundt pan with aluminum foil, securing the edges.
Baking the cake
- Set the bundt pan on a roasting pan and place inside the oven. Carefully pour about two inches of hot water into the roasting pan to create steam inside the oven as the cake bakes.
- In a 350 F oven, bake the cake for about 60 minutes without opening the oven door to keep the steam from escaping.
- After 60 minutes, check the cake by inserting a skewer in the middle. The cake is ready if the skewer comes out with some soft chocolate cake crumbs.
- Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool completely on the roasting pan.
- To release the cake, gently shake the roasting pan from side to side to loosen the cake.
- Invert a cake serving plate over the bundt pan and carefully turn it over. Gently lift the bundt pan from the plate, releasing the cake.
- Serve the flan cake right away or refrigerate to chill completely.
And here you have it, layers of decadence in one ultimate treat. Caramel, flan, and chocolate in every slice!
I hope you try this chocoflan for your next baking project. You can also check out my black forest swiss roll and floating island dessert recipes. Happy baking!
1 ounce butter, softened (for greasing the pan)
¼ cup dulce de leche (homemade or store-bought)
For the Chocolate Cake
¾ cup sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 egg, room temperature
1 ¾ cup flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 ¼ cup milk, room temperature
For the Flan
1 can (14 ounces) condensed milk
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Making the Chocolate Cake Layer
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer until thick and fluffy.
Add the egg and continue to beat.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.
Add half of the dry ingredient mixture into the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Add half of the milk.
Beat the mixture until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Add the remaining half of the dry mixture and of the milk. Beat just until the ingredients are incorporated.
Making the Leche Flan Layer
In a mixing bowl, combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir until well incorporated.
Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a spouted container.
Baking the Chocoflan
Grease a 12-cup bundt pan with softened butter.
Add the dulce de leche, swirling to cover the bottom of the bundt pan. Set aside.
Spoon the chocolate batter into the bundt pan on top of the dulce de leche, making sure to fill the pan evenly. Using an angled spatula, smoothen the top.
Carefully pour the flan mixture into the bundt pan over the chocolate batter.
Cover the bundt pan with aluminum foil, securing the edges.
Set the bundt pan on a roasting pan and place it inside the oven. Carefully pour about two inches of hot water into the roasting pan.
In a 350 F oven, bake the cake for about 60 minutes without opening the oven door to keep the steam from escaping. After 60 minutes, check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out with some soft chocolate cake crumbs, the cake is ready.
Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool completely on the roasting pan. To release the cake, gently shake the roasting pan from side to side to loosen the cake.
Invert a serving plate over the bundt pan and carefully turn it over. Gently lift the bundt pan from the plate, releasing the cake.
Serve the flan cake right away or refrigerate to completely chill.
Impossible Chocolate Flan Cake
These super decadent fries are Tex-Mex in it’s truest form. Perfect for watch parties, game-day celebrations, and serious steak cravings.
Made this? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!
YIELDS: 4 – 6 SERVINGS PREP TIME: 0 HOURS 25 MINS TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 0 MINS
FOR THE SEASONING MIX
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne
FOR THE FRIES AND STEAK
1 (1-lb.) package frozen fries
12 oz. flank steak, sliced into 5″ sections
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole milk
2 c. shredded cheddar
1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
1 medium tomato, diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1/4 c. sour cream
1. Make the seasoning mix: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Make fries and steak: Preheat oven to 425°. On a large baking sheet, bake french fries in a single layer according to package instructions. Season with salt to taste immediately after they’re baked.
3. Meanwhile, rub steak with vegetable oil and season with 1 ½ teaspoons salt and 1 tablespoon seasoning mix. Heat a medium cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak and cook, flipping once, until a deep golden crust forms on both sides of the steak, about 5 minutes total. Let meat rest 10 minutes before slicing into 1” cubes.
4. Make cheese sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook until just golden, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add milk and bring to a simmer, then whisk in cheese and let thicken, 3 to 5 minutes more.
5. Assemble: In a small bow, mash avocados with lime juice and 1 teaspoon seasoning mix, and season with salt. Top fries with cheese sauce, sliced steak, mashed avocado, tomato, onion, and a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle on remaining seasoning mix and serve immediately.