This meal came about as the result of the fact that I no longer have access to satellite television and was therefore forced to read a book! Shocking, I know…Hence, where this recipe came from. I sat down and read, cover to cover, Tom Colicchio’s cookbook ‘Think Like A Chef’ and while I am still uncertain as to whether I actually like Tom Colicchio himself (having watched far too many episodes of Top Chef), I loved reading his cookbook. He introduces his food philosophy first through an exploration into basic cooking techniques such as braising, roasting, sauteeing, etc. He then delves into the world of stocks and sauces and concludes with classic ingredient pairings such as ramps, morels and asparagus and duck, apples and root vegetables. I really enjoyed the organization of the cookbook and his rustic and simple approach to creating delicious dishes. I really appreciated his fervor for good technique as familiarity with said techniques serve as the foundation for any good dish. Perfecting these basic skills allows you to translate recipes not only to your personal tastes but allows you to explore what is seasonally available and on hand at the time without jeopardizing your success. Plus, the book is chock full of fantastic recipes and glorious food-porn worthy photos. I highly recommend this read for even the most novice chef!
This cookbook left me with a serious hankering for roast chicken, one of my absolute favorites and perhaps the most comforting dish in the universe. This meal was a winner. It had everything: textural contrast, a deep savoriness, bright exciting bites, comfort oozing from its very core. It was downright delicious!
Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs over Potato-Turnip Mash with Summer Vegetables, Pickled Sungold Tomatoes and Croutons
For the Chicken:
• 4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
• salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme
• 2 cups good chicken stock
• squeeze of fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Potato-Turnip Mash:
• 1 medium sized butter potato, peeled and diced
• 1 turnip, peeled and diced
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/4 cup fresh buttermilk
• 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
• tiny pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
• salt and pepper
For the Summer Vegetables:
• 1 large leek, cleaned, halved and sliced into half-moons
• 3 carrots, peeled, halved and sliced into half-moons
• 1/3 pound of chanterelle mushrooms, lightly torn and rinsed
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 shallot, minced
• salt and pepper
For the Croutons:
- 1 slice good bread, I used Heidelberg’s Flaxseed Bread, cut into a 1/4″ dice
- olive oil
- pinch of smoked paprika
- pinch of garlic salt
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and lightly chopped
- 1/2 cup Pickled Sungolds ( Quick Summer Pickles )
- Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, toss your cubed bread with a little olive oil, the smoked paprika and the garlic salt. Spread them out into a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until they have turned golden brown and crisped up. Set aside to cool.
Pat your chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season them liberally with salt and pepper. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the chicken thighs skin side down into the pan. When the skin is a deep golden brown and nice and crispy, flip over to brown on the other side, about 4 minutes per side. Add the butter and fresh thyme into the pan and allow the butter to melt and start foaming. Tilt the pan to one side and begin to spoon the foaming butter over the chicken thighs, basting them thoroughly. When the butter is nice and brown, discard the thyme and remove the chicken thighs to a plate to rest covering them with aluminum foil.
Add the carrots, leeks, shallots, garlic and chanterelles to the pan and begin to saute, stirring occasionally. When the vegetables have softened and begun to brown, season with salt and pepper. Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pan with the vegetables and add in the chicken stock. Place the whole skillet into your preheated oven for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, make the potato-turnip mash. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a pot and season liberally with salt. Add the diced potato and turnip and boil for 8-10 minutes or until the two are fork-tender. Drain well and add back into the hot pot. Add the butter, buttermilk, mustard powder and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mash together with a potato masher for a nice, chunky mash. or hit it with an immersion blender to attain a smoother texture.
After 15 minutes, pull the chicken and vegetables out of the oven. Once again, remove the chicken thighs and set aside. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and transfer to the same plate as the chicken and cover with aluminum foil. Crank the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil to start reducing. Continue reducing the sauce down to a quarter of a cup. When reduced to the desired amount, strain through a fine mesh strainer and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To plate the final dish, add a good shmear of the potato-turnip mash to the bottom of the plate, top with a chicken thigh, a cascade of the delicious vegetables and top with a healthy pinch of the pickled sungolds. Drizzle the whole dish with the pan sauce and sprinkle on the croutons. Finally, garnish with some chopped fresh thyme and the parm-reggiano and enjoy!!
Find what inspires you in the kitchen and use it to make something extraordinary! Cheers!