Crusty Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce, Pan-roasted Pattypan Squash, and Boiled Red Potatoes

by Kelly on August 24, 2009

Pattypan squash are a special summertime treat. Because they can be a bit pricey, I only cook them when our CSA, Rare Earth Farm, delivers them. This week we were fortunate to get a small bag of them. Pan roasting brings out the sweetness. I also like the look of the rich caramel color of the roasting process on the bright yellow of the skin. The chicken in this menu is quick and delicious. As stated in the recipe, a nonstick skillet should be used. I try not to use nonstick cookware (too many chemicals), but this is one recipe where the nonstick is needed. I tried to use a Le Creuset pan and most of the delectable crust stuck to the bottom of it. We still ate it but it certainly could have been prettier.

Preparing the boiled red potatoes is pretty self-explanatory: boil red potatoes in water until just tender (cooking time will vary depending on size of the potato; mine took about 20 minutes). I recommend boiling the potatoes in very salty water both for taste and texture reasons. The water should be as salty as the sea.


Crusty Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce
adapted from More Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pepin

Serves 4

4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion
2 to 3 large cloves garlic
12 oz (340 g) crimini (baby bella) or white mushrooms
1/3 cup (70 ml) chicken broth or dry white wine
6 to 8 chives, for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 150°F (65°C), or your oven’s lowest temperature.

Place the chicken thighs skin side down on a cutting board. Use a sharp paring knife to trim away any excess skin and fat at the edges. Cut a slit about 1/2 inch deep into the flesh on either side of the thighbone to help the meat cook faster.

Use 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper to season the thighs all over. Arrange them skin side down in one layer in a nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid, then place the skillet over a high heat. When the thighs start to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium, cover tightly and cook for 16 to 18 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure they are browning properly. If the chicken seems to be cooking too fast after 10 minutes or so, reduce the heat to low. The skin of the chicken should be very crisp and brown. Transfer the thighs skin side up to the platter and place in the oven, along with the stack of dinner plates.

While the chicken is cooking, cut the onion into 1/4‑inch dice to yield 1 cup. Coarsely chop the garlic to yield 1 1/2 tablespoons. Wash and trim the mushrooms, wipe them dry and cut them into 1/2‑inch dice.

Discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet in which you cooked the chicken. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms, stirring to combine; cook over a high heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to wilt. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over the mixture, then add the broth and any liquid that has accumulated around the thighs on the platter. Cook over a high heat for about 1 minute to reduce the liquid.

To serve, place a thigh in the middle of each plate and top with 1/4 of sauce.  Sprinkle with chives to garnish, if desired.


Pan-roasted Pattypan Squash

olive oil
about 1 lb (450 g) pattypan squash, whole if small, or cut in half if large
salt and pepper

Pour enough olive oil into the bottom of a medium skillet to just cover it. Heat over a medium heat. Add the squash and cook, turning squash every 2 to 3 minutes until just tender, about 15 minutes total. Make sure the squash is browned on as many sides as possible for optimal flavor. If the squash browns too quickly or starts to scorch, reduce the heat to medium-low or cover for a few minutes with a lid. Before serving, season with salt and pepper to taste.

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