Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs With Artichokes

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs With Artichokes

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.

 

 

Braised Crispy Chicken Thighs with Artichoke hearts, leeks, potatoes and tarragon- a delicious one-pan recipe perfect for spring! 

 

 

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! 

 

 

Braised Crispy Chicken Thighs with Artichoke hearts, leeks, potatoes and tarragon- a delicious one-pan recipe perfect for spring!

 

 

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!

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 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

 

Instructions

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
Print Recipe
Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs With Artichokes
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Classic Pork Crown Roast

Classic Pork Crown Roast

This classic crown roast of pork is sure to wow family and friends at your next holiday gathering. We seasoned the pork overnight with salt, pepper and aromatic spices such as fennel, juniper, bay and allspice, for the most tender and juicy roasted meat. Glazed apples and onions serve as a sweet and tangy counterpoint. 

Level: Intermediate

Total: 10 hr 40 min 

(includes resting time)

Active: 45 min

Yield: 16 to 18 servings

Ingredients:

One 16- to 18-bone crown roast of pork (about 10 pounds) (see Cook’s Note)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon juniper berries

1 small bay leaf

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup granulated sugar

 

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges each

2 large red onions, peeled and cut into 8 wedges each

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups apple cider

Directions

1. Put the pork on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle all over with 1 tablespoon salt and several grinds of pepper; set aside.

2. Put the fennel, allspice, whole peppercorns and juniper berries in a small skillet over medium heat and cook until the fennel begins to turn slightly golden, about 5 minutes.

3. Transfer the toasted spices to a blender, add the bay leaf and blend until coarsely ground. Add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon salt and process until a coarse paste forms, about 1 minute. Spread the paste over the pork, making sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies; use a spatula to scrape up all the paste from the blender. Cover the pork with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

4. When ready to cook the pork, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

5. Put the pork on a rack set in a large roasting pan and cook for 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 135 degrees F, about another 1 1/2 hours.

6. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, sage, thyme, apples, onions and 6 tablespoons of the butter in a large bowl until well coated. Heat a large skillet over high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Add half of the apple and onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples and onions are dark golden all over but the apples are still firm, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and spread into a single layer to cool, using a heatproof spatula to scrape all the remaining sugar from the skillet over the apples and onions. Repeat with the remaining apple and onion mixture.

7. Return the skillet to high heat and add the wine. Cook until syrupy and reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 4 minutes. Add the cider and cook until thickened and glossy, about 8 minutes; you should have about 1/3 cup of glaze. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and set aside.

8. Once the pork reaches 135 degrees F, increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and brush the pork all over with half the glaze. Return to the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Brush with the remaining glaze and continue to cook until the internal temperature registers 145 degrees F, about another 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and let rest for 30 minutes. Serve with the apples and onions.

Cook’s Note

A crown roast is made up of 2 to 3 racks of bone-on pork loin that a butcher ties together end to end to create a large round roast. Make sure to order the roast from your local butcher a couple of days in advance so they have time to get the right size racks, clean the meat from the tips of the bones (called Frenching) and tie them together securely so it cooks evenly.

Classic Pork Crown Roast
Print Recipe
Classic Pork Crown Roast
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Recipe Notes
Level: Intermediate

Total: 10 hr 40 min 

(includes resting time)

Active: 45 min

Yield: 16 to 18 servings

Ingredients:

One 16- to 18-bone crown roast of pork (about 10 pounds) (see Cook’s Note)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon juniper berries

1 small bay leaf

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup granulated sugar

 

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges each

2 large red onions, peeled and cut into 8 wedges each

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups apple cider

Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Stuffed pumpkin

Stuffed pumpkin

Serves 4

Easy

Throwing a vegan dinner party in the autumn or winter months? Bake a pumpkin with a gorgeous stuffing of rice, fennel, apple, pomegranate seeds and pecans

Ingredients

 

  • 1 medium-sized pumpkin or round squash (about 1kg)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g wild rice
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 1 Bramley apple
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

 

 

  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 30g pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 large pack parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • pomegranate seeds, to serve

Method

1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the top off the pumpkin or squash and use a metal spoon to scoop out the seeds. Get rid of any pithy bits but keep the seeds for another time (see our pumpkin seed recipe ideas). Put the pumpkin on a baking tray, rub with 2 tbsp of the oil inside and out, and season well. Roast in the centre of the oven for 45 mins or until tender, with the ‘lid’ on the side.

2. Meanwhile, rinse the wild rice well and cook following pack instructions, then spread out on a baking tray to cool. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and apple, then squeeze over ½ the lemon juice to stop them discolouring.

3. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Fry the fennel seeds and chilli flakes, then, once the seeds begin to pop, stir in ½ the garlic and the fennel. Cook for 5 mins until softened, then mix through the apple, pecans and lemon zest. Remove from the heat. Add the mixture to the the cooked rice, then stir in the chopped parsley and taste for seasoning.

4. Pack the mixture into the cooked pumpkin and return to the oven for 10-15 mins until everything is piping hot. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining lemon juice with the tahini, the rest of the garlic and enough water to make a dressing. Serve the pumpkin in the middle of the table, topped with pomegranate seeds and the dressing.

 

 


Stuffed pumpkin
Print Recipe
Stuffed pumpkin
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Loin of Pork with Fennel and Garlic

Loin of Pork with Fennel and Garlic

Level: Easy

Total: 2 hr

Prep: 10 min

Inactive: 50 min

Cook: 1 hr

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

 

1 (5-pound) loin of pork, bone in,”frenched” and tied

6 garlic cloves

1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 lemons)

 

 

 

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Allow the pork to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Place the pork, fat side up, in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it comfortably. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade process the garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, and fennel seeds until roughly chopped. Add the olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper and process until it forms a smooth paste. Rub the paste on top of the pork and roast for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to sit for 20 minutes, then remove the strings, slice between the bones and serve warm.


Loin of Pork with Fennel and Garlic
Print Recipe
Loin of Pork with Fennel and Garlic
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe