RECIPE: Used To Be a Breast Man

gardenladJanuary 23, 2007

Chicken breasts, that is. But lately we've been discovering the meaty joys of thighs. Here's one recipe, from my magazine clipping frenzy:


2 small leeks

1/4 lb wild mushrooms

4 chicken thighs

Salt & pepper

2 tbls butter

1/2 cup white wine

1/4 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/8 tsp nutmeg, approx

Cut green leaves from leeks and discard. Cut leeks into thin julienne strips. Trim any tough stems from mushrooms and halve any very large ones. Sprinkle chicken with salt & pepper.

In a large frying pan, heat the butter. Saute chicken, skin side down, over medium heat until golden, about 4 minutes. Turn and sautuntil golden on second side, about 2 minutes more. Add leeks and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add wine and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover pan and gently simmer, turning chicken once, until done, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken and keep warm.

Add mushrooms to pan and cook over high heat until sauce is lightly thickened, about a minute. Lower heat and stir in cream. Simmer gently until sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Season with nutmeg and salt & pepper to taste.

Spoon sauce over chicken.

My notes: Unless you like raw chicken, the time for the initial sauteing is too short. I sauted them for 5 minutes per side, and they were just cooked through.

Original recipe called for fresh morels. Lots of luck on that, this time of year. So I used baby portabellas.

I believe next time I'll skin the thighs before cooking as well.

Anyone else got some T&T recipes for chicken thighs?

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GL, I have lots of dried morels, so I will make this soon. It's similar to another recipe we like. This time of year I'll have to use the big leeks but in the spring the wild leeks are so plentiful around here you can smell them throughout the woods. Some years the morels are also everywhere other years not so good. The National Morel Festival is held in the next town over from where I live.

Thanks for sharing the recipe, we like thighs better than breast meat. I have a very good recipe for General Tso's Chicken, let me know if you would like it.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 10:11AM
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Thanks for the offer, Nancy. General Tso's is something I usually just have when we visit a Chinese buffet. But others might like the recipe, if you care to post it.

I don't care for reconstituted dried morels all that much. So generally I use them only in the spring, when they're freshly gathered.

Morels, of course, give us one more excuse to be out in the woods. The fact that they're a little bit of heaven in a bowl is just gravy.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 10:34AM
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Thanks for the recipe, sounds good. I learned about the meaty joy of thighs years ago in my youth and definitely prefer thighs over breasts. I generally just substitute thighs in most recipes. Here are a couple of favorite recipes that call for thighs.

Sue Cookingrvc
Baked Mustard-Herb Chicken Thighs Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
8 Chicken thighs -- trimmed of excess fat and skin
1 1/2 Cups fresh bread crumbs
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or other herb
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 Tablespoons Melted butter -- Optional

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, tarragon, and salt/pepper on a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides).
Use a pastry brush to cpaint mustard lightl;y on chicken pieces.
Carefully coat chicken pieces with bread crumb mixture.
Drizzle with melted butter if using. Gently place chicken in a roasting pan and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until completely cooked. Serve hot or cold

Chances Mom/Janet
Burnished Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and Shallots
(We don't like sweet potato so I subbed potatoes)

3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic
salt and pepper
8 chicken thighs (I get them boned so they are easier to eat)
1 med large peeled sweet potato (I subbed 5 small potatoes quartered) cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 med parsnips peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 small shallots, peeled and halved thru root (I used at least 6)
I also added 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 strips bacon (I used pancetta diced)cooked and crumbled
Stir together oil, mustard balsamic salt and pepper in large bowl, add chicken and toss. Marinate at least 1 hr and upto 8 hrs.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange chicken skin up on large rimmed baking sheet. At other end of sheet toss veggies with salt and pepper (I also added some butter). Roast 20 minutes, then baste chicken and stir veggies. Contine basting and stirring every 10 minutes. (I didn't do this just left it)
When chicken is done, take veggies out and toss with 1/2 of the bacon , and transfer to serving platter, top with chicken and toss rest of bacon over.
Because I used deboned thighs, I started the veggies about 15 minutes before adding the chicken and cooked the whole thing about and hour.
The beauty of this dish is it can hold for quite a while without getting over done or dried out. Both times I made it when we had company and kind of forgot about it til it was time to eat. The chicken comes out a beautiful burnished brown and the veggies are sweet.
(Woodie's notes - I use just a mix of potatoes and chicken and shallots and not the other veggies and I mix it all together and toss it around occasionally.)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 4:24PM
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been discovering the meaty joys of thighs

Guess we're gonna call you 'The RE Thighmaster' now, GL (darfc)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 8:22PM
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Nancy, you're a better woman than I am. I just use morels as an excuse to wander around in the woods, I get distracted by everything else and seldom actually find any mushrooms. LOL

Maybe I'll have to come on up next spring and you'll have to give me lessons on focusin on the mushrooms instead of watching for the first trilliums blooming or whether the violets are in blossom, where that nest of quail eggs is or how many squirrels are around. LOL Too many distractions, I lose my focus.

Too bad too, Dad loves morels. Guess I'll have to break down and buy them from one of those guys that sell them along the road from the tailgate of his pickup. Sigh.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 4:59PM
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This past spring they were $50/pound and higher. If I can't focus enough to find my own, I'll do without.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 6:43PM
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Annie, I do the same. I love the spring woods as it comes alive. Each day I notice new things and of course Roxie has her nose to the ground just sniffing away. Some years I hit it lucky at finding morels and other years....nada! I look a little harder when I hear other folks are finding them. The last couple of years have not been real good here but maybe this year...I hope.

RE Thighmaster, do you like your new name?
Leave it to the EO!


    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 9:51AM
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She seems to forget: I know where she lives! Bwahahahaha.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 10:32AM
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