Dreaming of Spring Chicken

Sure it’s not quite spring but as usual, I was doing freezer inventory and found a few things that should be used up. Now that the tarragon and chives are up…that for sure says spring to me. I used chicken thighs because they were there but use whatever chicken pieces you like, just time them accordingly. The chicken would be nice with roasted potatoes or rice or noodles. And the next time I serve this…because I love them…I might be tempted to make some dumplings! I suggest some white wine to have with the chicken!

Makes 4 Servings

DSC_0726 nx28 large chicken thighs, skin removed if you wish
Salt & freshly ground black pepper for seasoning the chicken
1 Tbsp. each butter and EVOO
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, trimmed & cut into 1” pieces
½ cup chopped onions
1/8 tsp. peperoncino (chili flakes) or to taste
½ cup to 2/3 cup frozen peas (petit pois are my favourite)
1 cup blanched, peeled pearl onions**see note below
½ cup dry white wine
6 – 8 oz. frozen artichoke quarters** see note below
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1 – 2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon
1 – 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 – 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
1 cup homemade chicken stock** or no salt/low salt chicken broth
½ cup whipping cream
1 – 2 Tbsp. potato starch, mixed with 2 Tbsp. chicken stock

Heat a skillet that is large enough to hold all the chicken. Add the butter & EVOO & heat until hot but not so the butter browns. In the meantime, season the chicken pieces with salt & pepper.

Place the pieces of chicken into the hot pan & brown, until golden on both sides; remove to a platter & set aside while you prepare the braising liquid. Remove all the fat except for 1 – 2 Tbsp.

Add the ½ cup chopped onions to the pan & saute until softened. Add the celery, garlic & pepperoncino & stir to combine. Add the white wine to the pan & reduce by half; then add the stock & whipping cream. Return the chicken to the pan; add half the parsley, half the tarragon, the thyme leaves, bring to a boil; reduce to simmer; cover the pan & cook the chicken for 15 minutes; turn the chicken over; cover and continue to cook for another 20 minutes.

Remove the lid; add the artichokes & pearl onions; cover & simmer for another 10 minutes; add the peas & remaining herbs; cover & simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid. Remove the chicken to a serving platter & keep warm in a low oven. Thicken the sauce by adding a bit of the potato starch, stock mixture until it is the consistency you wish; cook for a couple of minutes; taste for salt & pepper; add the lemon juice then pour the sauce over the chicken & scatter the chives over top. Serve immediately on warm plates.

** I have found that WholeFoods has very good frozen pearl onions and frozen artichoke quarters.

**If you would like to make homemade stock, click here.

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