Braised and Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

by gurumommy on March 15, 2011

in cooking

This recipe from the NY Times looked too good to eat!  Mark Bittman writes that he set out to  to develop that could become a reliable and even exciting alternative to roast chicken. In other words, a contemporary American chicken dinner.
2 tablespoons chicken fat, reserved from the chicken-skin croutons (or use olive oil or butter)
2 skinless chicken leg-thigh quarters
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 skin-on chicken breast, split to yield 2 halves
3 leeks, trimmed, cleaned and chopped
4 carrots, chopped
6 celery ribs, chopped, leaves reserved for garnish
12 to 16 ounces cremini, shiitake, button or other fresh mushrooms, quartered or sliced
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
Chicken-wing meat
The quick chicken stock.

1. Heat the oven to 350. Put the chicken fat in a roasting pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sprinkle the leg quarters with salt and pepper and add them to the pan, flesh side down. Cook, turning and rotating the pieces as necessary, until well browned on both sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove, then add the breast halves, skin side down. Brown them well, then flip and cook for just 1 minute or so; remove to a separate plate.
2. Put the leeks, carrots, celery, mushrooms, herbs and chicken-wing meat in the same pan and cook until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Nestle the leg quarters among the vegetables, meaty side up. Add enough of the stock to come about halfway up the thighs. (The amount will depend on the breadth of your pan; add a little water if necessary.)
4. Put the pan in the oven and cook, uncovered, for about 1 hour, checking occasionally and stirring the vegetables if they threaten to brown too much. When the thigh meat is tender, raise the heat to 400 and lay the breast halves on the vegetables, skin side up. Continue cooking until they are done, 20 to 30 minutes longer.
5. Transfer the vegetables to a platter. You can serve one of two ways: slice the breasts and shred the leg-and-thigh meat and lay the meat on top of the vegetables; or cut the leg-thigh pieces in half, cut the breasts in half and give each person a little of each. Garnish with reserved chopped celery leaves.

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