Braised Chicken with Chanterelles and Leeks

Braised Chicken with Chanterelles and Leeks

Fresh chanterelles are harvested from forest floors on the continents of Europe and North America, and the season can last for many months. This stove-top braise of whole chicken thighs, leeks and chanterelles marries deep, soft savory flavors that highlight the morsels of mushroom.

Serves 4 - 6

4 chicken thighs, bone-in

½ pound fresh chanterelles

4 cups leeks, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups mushroom stock

1½ teaspoons gelatin (optional)

1 heaping teaspoon thyme, chopped

1/8 teaspoon chili flakes, chopped

2 Tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a cast iron or heavy skillet or casserole over medium heat, brown seasoned chicken thighs that have been brought up to room temperature skin-side down in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, crisping the skins. Turn the crisped thighs over and cook in rendered fats and juices for an additional minute, gently browing the undersides of the thighs. Remove from the pan and set aside. Pour off the fat, preserving any drippings and 1 Tablespoon of the fats and juices in the pan.

Add the cleaned chanterelles and thyme to the pan and saute until softened and just slightly carmelized. Remove the chanterelles from the pan.

Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil to the pan and heat. Add the leeks and garlic, cover the pan and sweat the leeks and garlic, stirring periodically until tender, approximately 15 minutes.

Heat the mushroom stock and, optionally, add the gelatin and dissolve. Add the stock, chili flakes and scant salt and pepper to the leeks, place the chicken and mushrooms into the pan, cover and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.

Uncover the dish and cook an additional ten minutes, allowing the liquids to reduce. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.