Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Early Friday Food Blogging: Chicken Thighs with Roasted Sweet Vegetables

This is another recipe I saw in passing on Food Network months ago, but never got around to trying. Once we got around to tackling it, we made quite a few changes, and the results were fantastic. I'm always amazed at the profoundly deep tastes that result from roasting just about anything, and this is the best example I've made yet.

12 oz spicy italian sausage, either loose or if in casings, chopped into pieces
4 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1-2 fennel bulbs, quartered
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
5-6 shallots, peeled
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450F. Heat an ovenproof vessel on the stovetop at medium-high heat, and add sausage to pan. Cook for a few seconds, allowing oil to seep out into the pan. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add to the pan with the sausage. Brown meats on all sides and remove from pan to a dish. Dispose of drippings except about 2 tablespoons which should be left in the pan and the pan replaced on the hot burner. Add pepper, red pepper and fennel to oil and cook for 30-60 seconds. Pour in white wine and deglaze the brown bits stuck to the bottom. Burned chunks may be removed and thrown away. Allow about half of the volume of the wine and oil to evaporate off and then add remaining ingredients. Coat with hot oil and wine and cook on high heat for 1-2 minutes. Replace the chicken and sausage in the pan with the vegetables and put the pan in the hot oven. Allow to cook for 20-30 minutes until edges of vegetables are browning and chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to stand about 5 minutes before serving.

PS - Doug, the enameled cast iron pot was perfect for this and I love it. Thanks so much!
PPS - If you, like Alton Brown, are just here for the food, check out Orexia.
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