MAITAKE CHICKEN

SOME PEOPLE BRING WINE; OTHERS, MAITAKE MUSHROOMS.  A HEFTY BAG OF THEM, TOO.  I LOVE MUSHROOMS, PARTICULARLY WILD MUSHROOMS, BUT MORE VARIETIES ARE BEING CULTIVATED NOW, SO IN ADDITIONS TO WHITE BUTTON, CREMINI, OYSTER, AND PORTOBELLO, YOU CAN NOW FIND WOOD EAR, ENOKI, AND MAITAKE, A.K.A. HEN-OF-THE-WOODS, WHICH GROW IN SHELF-LIKE CLUSTERS ON THE BASE OF TREES.  FOR THIS PARTICULAR RECIPE I TOOK AN ASS-BACKWARDS APPROACH.  INSTEAD OF PAN BROWNING A CUT-UP CHICKEN, MAKING A MUSHROOM SAUCE IN THE SAME PAN AND RETURNING THE CHICKEN TO COMPLETE THE COOKING, I ROASTED THE CHICKEN SEPARATELY THEN FINISHED THE DISH IN THE SAME PAN WHILE THE CHICKEN RESTED.  THIS WAY, THE CHICKEN SACRIFICES NON OF ITS CRISPNESS.  RICE PILAF COMPLETES THE DISH, ALTHOUGH YOU CAN SUBSTITUTE ORZO, QUINOA OR FARO.  

 1 CHICKEN, AROUND 3 1/2 POUNDS
 FRESH THYME
 1 LEMON
 3 cups MAITAKE MUSHROOMS
 4 LARGE SHALLOTS
 3 GARLIC CLOVES
 ½ cup WHITE WINE
 ½ cup CHICKEN STOCK
 FRESH PARSLEY, CHIVES OR TARRAGON
PILAF OF RICE
 1 SHALLOT
 1 cup LONG GRAIN RICE
 2 cups CHICKEN STOCK

1

PREHEAT OVEN TO 450º

RINSE OUT CHICKEN CAVITY. PULL OUT ANY EXCESS FAT. DRY THE CAVITY. SALT AND PEPPER.

ROLL THE LEMON ON THE COUNTER TO SOFTEN IT. POKE A BUNCH OF HOLES IN IT WITH A SERVING FORK. STUFF SEVERAL SPRIGS OF THYME INSIDE THE CAVITY, THEN THE LEMON.

DRY THOROUGHLY WITH PAPER TOWELS. SALT AND PEPPER THE OUTSIDE OF THE CHICKEN.

ONCE THE OVEN IS HOT, HEAT A CAST IRON PAN ON TOP OF THE STOVE FOR AT LEAST 3 MINUTES.

ADD A SPLASH OF OLIVE OIL TO THE PAN. LAY THE CHICKEN IN THE PAN. COOK ON HIGH HEAT FOR ABOUT 3 MINUTES, THEN PLACE IN THE OVEN.

ROAST CHICKEN FOR ABOUT 45 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE JUICES RUN CLEAR WHEN A FORK INSERTED IN THE THICKEST PART OF THE THIGH.

REMOVE CHICKEN TO A WARM PLATE. TURN UPSIDE-DOWN.

WHILE THE CHICKEN IS ROASTING, PEEL AND ROUGHLY CHOP THE 2 SHALLOTS AND THE 3 GARLIC CLOVES.

ROUGHLY SLICE THE MAITAKES INTO 1/2-INCH PIECES.

AFTER YOU TAKE OUT THE CHICKEN, POUR OFF THE FAT, LEAVING AT AROUND 3TBSPS IN THE PAN.

ADD THE MAITAKES TO THE PAN. SAUTÉ OVER MEDIUM HIGH FLAME UNTIL THEY START TO COLLAPSE. ADD THE SHALLOTS AND THE GARLIC AND CONTINUE TO COOK, STIRRING FREQUENTLY SO THE GARLIC DOESN'T BURN.

SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER.

POUR IN 1/2 CUP OF WHITE WINE. RAISE HEAT AND REDUCE BY HALF. ADD THE CHICKEN STOCK AND COOK A MINUTE OR SO TILL THE MUSHROOMS REACH A CONSISTENCY YOU LIKE.

CUT UP THE CHICKEN AND ARRANGE THE PIECES ON TOP OF THE MUSHROOMS. GARNISH WITH CHOPPED HERBS.

SERVE WITH RICE PILAF ON THE SIDE.

SERVES 4

RICE PILAF
2

HEAT THE CHICKEN STOCK TO A SIMMER.

PEEL AND MINCE THE SHALLOT.

MELT 2 TBSPS BUTTER AND A SPLASH OF COOKING OIL IN A SMALL DUTCH OVEN OR A SAUCEPAN WITH A LID.

ADD THE SHALLOT AND COOK UNTIL TRANSLUCENT.

STIR IN THE RICE. SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER. STIR FOR 30 SECONDS, THEN POUR IN 1 1/2 CUPS OF CHICKEN STOCK. BRING TO A BOIL, THEN TURN OFF THE HEAT AND COVER.

PLACE IN A 325º OVEN OR IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE OVEN, PLACE IN THE OVEN WHEN THE CHICKEN IS DONE. CHECK TO SEE IF THE RICE NEEDS MORE LIQUID. ADD MORE IF NEEDED.

Ingredients

 1 CHICKEN, AROUND 3 1/2 POUNDS
 FRESH THYME
 1 LEMON
 3 cups MAITAKE MUSHROOMS
 4 LARGE SHALLOTS
 3 GARLIC CLOVES
 ½ cup WHITE WINE
 ½ cup CHICKEN STOCK
 FRESH PARSLEY, CHIVES OR TARRAGON
PILAF OF RICE
 1 SHALLOT
 1 cup LONG GRAIN RICE
 2 cups CHICKEN STOCK

Directions

1

PREHEAT OVEN TO 450º

RINSE OUT CHICKEN CAVITY. PULL OUT ANY EXCESS FAT. DRY THE CAVITY. SALT AND PEPPER.

ROLL THE LEMON ON THE COUNTER TO SOFTEN IT. POKE A BUNCH OF HOLES IN IT WITH A SERVING FORK. STUFF SEVERAL SPRIGS OF THYME INSIDE THE CAVITY, THEN THE LEMON.

DRY THOROUGHLY WITH PAPER TOWELS. SALT AND PEPPER THE OUTSIDE OF THE CHICKEN.

ONCE THE OVEN IS HOT, HEAT A CAST IRON PAN ON TOP OF THE STOVE FOR AT LEAST 3 MINUTES.

ADD A SPLASH OF OLIVE OIL TO THE PAN. LAY THE CHICKEN IN THE PAN. COOK ON HIGH HEAT FOR ABOUT 3 MINUTES, THEN PLACE IN THE OVEN.

ROAST CHICKEN FOR ABOUT 45 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE JUICES RUN CLEAR WHEN A FORK INSERTED IN THE THICKEST PART OF THE THIGH.

REMOVE CHICKEN TO A WARM PLATE. TURN UPSIDE-DOWN.

WHILE THE CHICKEN IS ROASTING, PEEL AND ROUGHLY CHOP THE 2 SHALLOTS AND THE 3 GARLIC CLOVES.

ROUGHLY SLICE THE MAITAKES INTO 1/2-INCH PIECES.

AFTER YOU TAKE OUT THE CHICKEN, POUR OFF THE FAT, LEAVING AT AROUND 3TBSPS IN THE PAN.

ADD THE MAITAKES TO THE PAN. SAUTÉ OVER MEDIUM HIGH FLAME UNTIL THEY START TO COLLAPSE. ADD THE SHALLOTS AND THE GARLIC AND CONTINUE TO COOK, STIRRING FREQUENTLY SO THE GARLIC DOESN'T BURN.

SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER.

POUR IN 1/2 CUP OF WHITE WINE. RAISE HEAT AND REDUCE BY HALF. ADD THE CHICKEN STOCK AND COOK A MINUTE OR SO TILL THE MUSHROOMS REACH A CONSISTENCY YOU LIKE.

CUT UP THE CHICKEN AND ARRANGE THE PIECES ON TOP OF THE MUSHROOMS. GARNISH WITH CHOPPED HERBS.

SERVE WITH RICE PILAF ON THE SIDE.

SERVES 4

RICE PILAF
2

HEAT THE CHICKEN STOCK TO A SIMMER.

PEEL AND MINCE THE SHALLOT.

MELT 2 TBSPS BUTTER AND A SPLASH OF COOKING OIL IN A SMALL DUTCH OVEN OR A SAUCEPAN WITH A LID.

ADD THE SHALLOT AND COOK UNTIL TRANSLUCENT.

STIR IN THE RICE. SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER. STIR FOR 30 SECONDS, THEN POUR IN 1 1/2 CUPS OF CHICKEN STOCK. BRING TO A BOIL, THEN TURN OFF THE HEAT AND COVER.

PLACE IN A 325º OVEN OR IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE OVEN, PLACE IN THE OVEN WHEN THE CHICKEN IS DONE. CHECK TO SEE IF THE RICE NEEDS MORE LIQUID. ADD MORE IF NEEDED.

MAITAKE CHICKEN
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