All About Food
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Monday, December 15, 2008
Pan Seared Chicken with Winter Vegetables
Ok..this is a typical midwest dinner that is super quick and easy for nights when I'm running late leaving from work.

Which is often.

You will need:
6 chicken thighs with skin on

Ok, let's stop there. I know, I know. SKIN! SATURATED FAT! ARTERIES HARDENING AS I TYPE!! It's not that bad, really. This is an old-school recipe. You don't go changing old-school recipes because, 1. They aren't as delish if you do and 2. You don't want dead relatives turning over in their graves.

Hey, no one is making you eat that skin. When it's time to serve, peel it off if you like.

Let's go on, shall we?

Olive oil. Did I mention I'm not really a stickler for measuring? You need enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom of a skillet big enough to hold six chicken thighs. You don't want the thighs swimming in the oil, but you need enough to sear the chicken.

Winter vegetables. I like carrots (baby peeled will do just fine, or if you have whole parent carrots, peel them and cut them into generous slices), parsnips (peeled and cut into generous slices), new potatoes (red or yellow, leave them whole, skin and all), one large onion cut into large chunks. You could add rutabega or maybe kholarabi, a little celery chopped into decent sized chunks. The idea is for the veggies to soften up during the process without becoming soggy and for the onion to caramelize. And keep in mind that your tougher vegetables (parsnips, rutabegas, etc...) will soften more slowly than baby carrots and potatoes. So, when chopping them up, try to take that into account. i.e. cut your tougher veggies smaller than the softer veggies.

White wine. I don't care what kind. I had some Sutter Home white zin in the fridge and that worked fine.

Chicken stock. About 14 oz (one can of Swanson, or if you have some homemade, use that!)

Salt, pepper and other herbs to taste. I like rosemary on my chicken, with a little dill and maybe some thyme. I don't like to overseason, however since I have three little kids. They don't like any one flavor to overpower the actual food itself.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat the oil until quite hot. Not smoking hot, but you want your chicken to sizzle the second you add it to the skillet. Season your chicken thighs on both sides with a little salt and pepper, and place them in the skillet. Brown both sides until that wonderful shade of golden yumminess.

Toss your cut up veggies in a 13x9 baking pan, pour chicken stock over the top of the vegetables and along with the white wine to taste. I usually add in about 2/3 to 3/4 of a cup. Place the seared chicken thighs on top of the vegetables, season to taste (here's where I sprinkle rosemary, a bit more salt and pepper and dill) and bake on the middle rack for about 45 minutes. Do not cover it!!

Is it done? Poke a piece of chicken and see if the juices run clear or use a meat thermometer and make sure it's heated in the thickest part of the thigh to 155.

Let it stand for a few minutes and serve with a good salad and some crusty Italian bread.

Mmm....winter food!!
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