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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Chicken, Chard, and Carrots, a One Pan Meal

I first tried this recipe in the spring when I had a bunch of chard in the garden and I was happy to find a way to use it. The dish turned out to taste richly garlicky and meaty. It is convenient, too, since the vegetables are included.


Chicken, Chard, and Carrots, a One Pan Meal

Adapted from Cook It in Cast Iron: Kitchen-tested Recipes for the One Pan That Does It All from America's Test Kitchen's Cook's Country
Serves:  4-6

Note: Although I am enthusiastic about this recipe, I find it heavy on the meat and light on the vegetables, especially the chard. The book indicates it serves four, meaning that each diner will eat two thighs. If you'd like to increase the vegetables, do so, although more chard will be look like it won't fit into the skillet (give it time to cook down). For my tastes, I think I'll increase the vegetables but reduce the amount of chicken pieces by two.

8 5-7 oz bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed but not skinned
1 T vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped finely
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 T minced fresh thyme or 1 teas dried
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced (don't skip this recipe if you don't have this)
2 T flour
1 c chicken broth
1 pd carrots, peeled and halved crosswise, or into thirds and quarter the thick ends
1 1/2 pds Swiss chard, (or more if your family likes veggies) stemmed and halved and cut into 1 inch strips
3 T whole-grain mustard
1 T butter, melted
1 teas grated lemon zest plus 2 teas lemon juice

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Place a 12-inch cast iron skillet (any oven-safe skillet will work) on stove top over medium-high heat and allow to heat for 5 minutes. Add the oil and let heat until it is beginning to smoke. Brown the chicken in batches, making sure the skin is dark brown. Transfer chicken to a plate or tray while you continue.

Preheat the oven to 335F.

Pour off most of the oil; leave about 1 T in the skillet. Add the onions and cook until softened. Add the garlic, thyme, and anchovies and cook briefly (half a minute will do). Add the flour and cook for a minute, stirring. Gradually add the broth, making sure to scrape up the fond on the bottom of the skillet. Make sure there are no lumps of flour. Add the carrots and bring to a simmer.

Place the chicken, skin side up, on top of the carrots. The skin should be above the level of the liquid. Pour over the chicken any juices that accumulated while set aside. Transfer to the oven and cook until about 165F or until the meat offers little resistance when poked with a tip of a knife but isn't falling off the bones. At this temperature it took about 45 minutes in my oven. (The original recipe calls for a 325F oven and says it will take 60-75 minutes). I advise checking the chicken with a thermometer at the 45 minute point. Keep cooking if it isn't at 165 degrees.

While the chicken is braising, clean and prepare the chard. Mix together the mustard, butter and lemon zest and juice in a small bowl.

Remove the skillet from the oven. Keep one pot-holder resting on the handle even when you aren't holding it so you don't forget and grab the hot handle. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover lightly with foil (tightly would make the skin steam and get flabby). Place the skillet back on the stove top and stir in the chard handful by handful. You'll think it won't fit but pile it on and stir after each addition. Place a lid over the skillet if you have one. This will cook down fairly quickly but I advise you remove it from heat as soon as the chard wilts; it will continue to cook while you add the final ingredients. Stir in the mustard mixture. Either place vegetables and chicken on a platter, or dish up into shallow bowls and serve. If you think you will have left overs, you may want to remove the food from the hot cast iron so the chard won't become over cooked.

I found this to provide quite a bit of "gravy" so recommend serving in a bowl. Serve with bread to sop up this delicious sauce.

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