Chicken thighs and potatoes, poached in a white wine broth with herbs and a hint of lemon.
This recipe was originally created for our Series of Unfortunate Recipes, based on the book and Netflix series by Lemony Snicket.
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems intact (about 8 medium mushrooms)
1 leek, white and tender green parts, roughly chopped and washed
6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
About 10 sprigs of parsley, plus more to garnish if desired
2-3 small sprigs of fresh sage (or 1-2 teaspoons dried sage), plus more fresh sage to garnish if desired
3 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
6 cups (2 quarts) lightly salted chicken broth
2 cups dry white wine or French vermouth
1 pound very small potatoes, about 1 inch in diameter, rinsed
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1. Place the chicken thighs in the bottom of a heavy pot such as a Dutch oven, skin-side up. If the skins have been pulled away from the meat, straighten them back out so that they neatly cover the meat, folding any excess skin under each thigh. (You will want this skin in its proper place for the final step.)
2. Twist or pull the mushroom stems to remove them from the caps. Roughly chop the stems and add them to the chicken, reserving the caps. Add all the remaining ingredients except the potatoes into the pot.
3. With the lid askew, bring everything to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once you have reached a simmer, turn the heat to medium-low and continue to adjust it as needed to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer with the lid askew for 35 minutes.
4. Use tongs to remove the chicken pieces from the pot and rest them on a large plate. Add the whole potatoes to the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
5. Turn the heat off and remove all the large solids from the broth, reserving the potatoes and discarding everything else. (It's fine if a few small pieces such as stray herbs or pieces of garlic or leek remain in the broth or stick to the potatoes.) Pour the broth into a degreasing pitcher or other bowl or jar, allowing the fat to rise and separate as it rests.
6. Preheat the broiler to high. Transfer the chicken thighs to a sheet pan lined with foil, reserving the juices that have accumulated on the plate and adding them to the broth. Broil the chicken thighs until the skin is lightly browned and crisped, about 5-10 minutes total. During this time, keep a close eye on the chicken, shifting the pieces around and briefly turning them over as needed to lightly brown the skin evenly all over.
7. Skim the fat from the broth and return the broth to the pot, along with the reserved juices from the plate where the chicken rested. Bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. While the broth warms, dice the mushroom caps into small pieces, and then add them to the broth. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid off, until the mushrooms are soft.
9. Taste the broth and add a pinch of salt if needed. When properly seasoned, remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream and lemon juice.
8. When the chicken pieces are browned, add them to the pot along with the reserved potatoes, gently turning everything to coat with the sauce. Garnish with a sprig of sage and/or minced parsley and serve (perhaps with a nice baguette to dip into the sauce).
Delicious served with this simple green bean recipe.
Save the leftovers for soup! Shred or chop any leftover chicken into small pieces, then warm them up in the leftover broth along with a few potatoes for a nice chicken soup. Add some chopped greens such as spinach, Swiss chard or kale to your soup to make it a complete meal.