When one of my best gal pals was in town a couple of weeks ago, we knew we had to cook a meal together. Both avid home cooks, we were thrilled at the opportunity to make magic (and a big mess) in my parents’ large kitchen. After tossing around some ideas for what to prepare, we settled on this recipe, courtesy of the lovely Giada. I handled the proteins and my partner in crime worked the veg, and the whole dish came together beautifully (we served it over saffron rice, but any sort of carb will do–you could even use crusty bread to sop up the delicious juices).
I’ve posted the recipe as-is, but we did make a few changes. For some reason, Giada called for boneless, skin-on chicken breasts, but I went for the bone-in version. So much more flavor! And you health nuts out there, PLEASE don’t get skinless chicken–you don’t have to actually eat the skin, but you really need it while cooking to allow the herb mixture to settle in and to impart more fabulous flavor. Of course, where any recipe calls for chicken broth, I use homemade stock–which I also used to cook the rice, giving the whole meal a deeper, richer taste. Finally, while I adore morels, my fiance doesn’t like mushrooms, AND I wasn’t about to spent $16 for a pint of the damn things (not yet, anyway…I suspect my imminent return to the farmers’ market will yield some shroomy goodness). So, I just sauteed some baby bellas in a separate skillet and then added them to the dish at the end.
This dish was incredibly satisfying while still seeming light and springy. I highly recommend it–enjoy!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl combine the thyme, parsley, garlic, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the chicken pieces on a work surface. Gently loosen the skin of the chicken and push the herb mixture under the skin. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pan, skin side down, when the oil is hot. Cook until the skin is crispy and golden, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook the same way on the other side. Turn the heat off the pan and reserve. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish, skin side up again, and finish cooking in the oven, about 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile return the same pan to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter has melted add the cipollini onions and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until tender and golden in places, about 7 minutes. Add the chicken broth and scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the snap peas and mushrooms. Simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon the vegetables onto a serving platter along with the chicken. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately.