Since I no longer eat meat, chicken, and fish, I’m less inclined to come up with recipes for those things. It’s simply occurring to me less, and I never serve something I don’t taste first. Same logic applies to coming up with my Jesscipes; in order to responsibly compose measurements etc, I need to sample the dish. But it was a while since I put up a chicken recipe, and I experimented for my daughter’s dinner that day. There’s something so comforting about braising on a cold day. I love having my kids enter the home to warm, yummy smells of their dinner being made. And though I’m not eating it anymore, I was bored of my chicken routine. I’ve been playing with thighs lately, and I came up with this while looking around the supermarket produce section that morning. I loved the idea of the leeks and fennel, but I needed to add color and another dimension of flavor. Hence the orange. Adding the citrus to the savory leeks and sweet fennel, over the warmth of the chicken, was a nice little gathering of flavors.
Six chicken thighs skin on
Two heads of fennel fronds removed then sliced in rounds
Six leeks halved lengthwise
Two cups chicken stock
Half a cup of white cooking wine
Two large sprigs of fresh rosemary plus a couple more for garnish when serving
One orange sliced
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
Season washed and dried chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides. Sear on stove top in a Dutch oven that has been heated with two tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of margarine. Sear until skin is golden brown, several minutes on each side. Tip: if you try to ever flip chicken and it sticks, that means it’s not ready.
Remove chicken to a dish and cover tightly with foil to lock in the juices. Add sliced leeks and fennel to the pot, deglazing with a couple tablespoons of additional white wine if the pot is drying out. Sauté vegetables with one sprig of rosemary until soft.
Place chicken back in pot skin side up and with all the gathered juices over leeks and fennel. Mix the chicken stock and white wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I’d say a 3/4 tsp salt and a 1/4 tsp pepper. Pour over chicken. Top with slices and another sprig of the rosemary.
Cover with lid and braise on a medium low flame until chicken is cooked through and tender, 30 minutes. Can serve this over white rice, quinoa, mashed potatoes, or mashed parsnips as a low carb alternative. If serving to guests, line the chicken parts up on a platter, arrange the orange slices on top of each piece, layer the vegetables in between the pieces, and garnish with bright green uncooked rosemary. This is a delicious cold weather main dish to warm up to.