This is my very first shared recipe. I have no idea why it's taken me so long. I cook all the time. Guess I'm just a hold-out. :)
Anyway, this recipe is dedicated to the sweet and lovely Sarah Tucker and her perfect Alsatian bow. Maybe she can pick up an Alsatian Riesling and really rock this recipe.
Chicken & Riesling
1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pound), backbone discarded and chicken cut French style into 8 pieces 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 tablespoons butter, divided 4 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced (2 cups) 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot 4 medium carrots, halved diagonally (or 1 1/2 cups of baby carrots) 1 cup dry white wine (preferably Alsatian Riesling*)
*Trader Joe's only had Pacific Rim Dry Riesling. And for that, they should not be sorry. It was perfect. 1 1/2 pound small (2-inch) red potatoes 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 1/2 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream (I used heavy cream, as I wince in fear at the sound of French words in recipes. Tasted great.) Fresh lemon juice to taste
Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle.
Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat oil with 1 tablespoon butter in a wide 5- to 7-quart heavy ovenproof pot (I used my Le Creuset :) over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then brown chicken in 2 batches, turning once, about 10 minutes total per batch. Transfer to a plate.
Meanwhile, wash leeks and pat dry, then thinly slice just the white and pale green parts.
Add the leeks, shallot, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the chicken drippings, and cook covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until leeks are pale golden, 5 to 7 minutes.
Wash and scrub potatoes. Make sure they are all about the same size (so they cook evenly), rough chopping if necessary. You can peel them if you prefer, but the red skin adds a nice pop of color.
To the leeks, add chicken, skin sides up, with any juices from plate, potatoes, carrots, and wine and boil until liquid is reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Cover pot and braise chicken in oven until cooked.
Stir crème fraîche (or heavy cream) and parsley into chicken mixture and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
I served mine with the remains of the Riesling, which was a divine choice. As well as a delicious Trader Joe's Triple Cream French Soft Cheese. I wish the label said more. It was in a triangle. I picked it up on a whim, and two Trader Joe's salespersons stopped me whilst shopping to tell me I had selected an amazing cheese. They were not wrong. At all.
And because hubs fancies himself an artiste while I'm cooking, here's a gratuitous picture of our mini-blinds.