On the first day of the new year I make a stew. There are many reasons why I do this. Stews and braises are healthy and fortifying, a comforting antidote to holiday menus and festivities. Stews are reflective, incorporating humble ingredients with heat and time, yielding deeply flavorful results. Stews comfort and nourish us, while warming us on a cold winter day. This year I received a beautiful French oven for a gift, so I have another reason to make a delicious stew today.
Braised Chicken in White Wine
The chicken skin remains exposed while the chicken braises to maintain the color and crispness of its skin. Serves 4.
4 large chicken breast halves, with skin and ribs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 leeks, green parts trimmed, white parts thinly sliced
3 large carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pound white or cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/2 inch thick
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350 F. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in an ovenproof pot or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, in batches. Brown on each side, turning once, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken. Add leeks to pot and saute 1 minute. Add remaining vegetables and saute over medium heat until beginning to soften and brighten in color, about 4 minutes. Add white wine. Bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits in pan. Return chicken to the pot. Nestle chicken in the vegetables, skin side up. Add enough chicken stock to nearly cover the chicken but not submerge it. The skin should be exposed. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover pot and transfer to oven. Bake until chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes. Serve in bowls with rice, farro or couscous.
If you like this, you might enjoy these recipes:
Pork Stew with Prunes and Armagnac from TasteFood
Vegetarian Stew with Quinoa and Butternut Squash from Cookin’ Canuck
Moroccan Lamb Stew from TasteFood
Mexican Red Lentil Stew from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Coq au Vin from TasteFood