Tag Archives: thyme

Braised Chicken in White Wine

~ Braised Chicken in White Wine with Carrots, Mushrooms and Thyme ~

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
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
2 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 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup dry white wine
2 to 3 cups chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Season the chicken breasts all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in an ovenproof pot or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, in batches. Cook until the skin is brown and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes, then turn the chicken and cook 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.

Drain off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pot and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the leeks to the pot and saute over medium heat, about 1 minute. Add the carrots, mushrooms and garlic. Saute over medium heat until the vegetables begin to soften and brighten in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the white wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits in pan. Add the bay leaf and thyme. Return the chicken to the pot and nestle, skin-side up, into the vegetables. Pour in enough chicken stock, without splashing the skin, to nearly cover the chicken but not submerge it. The skin should remain exposed. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover pot and transfer to oven. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Serve in bowls with rice, farro or couscous.

Roasted Potatoes with Sea Salt and Thyme

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Sometimes it’s necessary to state the obvious. These roasted potatoes are a simple side dish, a predictable accompaniment to meats and fish. An obvious choice, yes, but also an elegant reflection of simplicity and a delectable sum of its ingredients. Predictability can be reassuring. And these days it’s nice to have a little predictability to rely on – especially when it looks and tastes as good as this.

Roasted Potatoes with Sea Salt and Thyme
Serves 4 as a side dish

1 1/2 pounds small or new potatoes, with skin
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3-4 thyme sprigs, plus extra for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 F. Quarter potatoes and place in a large bowl with the garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss again. Dump the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter the thyme sprigs around the potatoes. Place baking tray on lowest rack in the oven. Bake 30 minutes without disturbing. Move baking tray to top half of the oven and continue to bake another 30 minutes. Remove and transfer potatoes to a bowl. Garnish with additional sea salt and thyme sprigs.

Peach and Blue Cheese Bruschetta with Honey and Thyme

Organic California peaches are now available in our market, and I am very excited. When I see peaches it means that summer is just around the corner. Hard to believe, I know, but in a few weeks school will be out, and the summer holiday will stretch ahead with unstructured time, travel, camps and sunny activities.

For now, I will focus on the peaches. This recipe combines fragrant peaches with crumbly blue cheese, a drizzle of honey and thyme. The flavors play off and elevate each other in wonderful harmony. For extra freshness and crunch, arugula may be added as a bed for the peaches. It’s all good.



Peach and Blue Cheese Bruschetta with Honey and Thyme
Makes 4

4 slices country-style bread, cut 1/4 inch thick
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
2 ripe, but not too soft, peaches, halved and pitted
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Runny honey
Thyme sprigs

Preheat oven broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking pan with a rack. Brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Broil, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Remove and transfer slices to a plate or platter.
Thinly slice peach halves. Arrange on bread, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle blue cheese over the peaches. Drizzle with honey and garnish with thyme sprigs.