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Winter is coming.  Seriously, it’s hailing like the world is ending right now.

It’s still nice out on the lake in the day time, but summer is clearly winding down.  There’s a chill in the air at night and both of our little apples are ripening on the tree.  (Don’t judge, they’re baby apple trees yet!)  As much as I love summer’s bounty of corn and tomatoes and herbs, I might just prefer autumn’s root vegetables and squashes.

The promise of colder weather is making me want to braise more things, and what better than another batch of braised chicken following my 5-step method?  This one is creamy and earthy; and when it’s matched up with some rice pilaf it’s like the classy, older sister of your mamma’s chicken and rice casserole.

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Creamy Braised Chicken and Mushrooms – with rice pilaf

Serves 4 – cost approx $1.52 per serving including rice

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 4 – 6 pieces chicken thighs – ($2.50)
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 onion, sliced ($.25)
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced ($.25)
  • 1-2 cups mushrooms, sliced ($1)
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 1 tsp dry sage
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup white wine ($.25)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock ($0 if homemade!)
  • 1 cup sour cream ($.50 – look for pints to go on sale for $1!)
  • 2 Tbs parsley, minced ($.10)

#1) Brown the meat and veggies – Start off by heating up the olive oil and butter over medium high heat in a large pot.  Season both sides of the chicken and dredge in the flour.  Brown thoroughly on both sides then remove.

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Next, toss in your onion, celery and mushrooms and cook until nice and browned up too, 5-8 minutes.  A nice brown, crud should be forming on the bottom of your pot.

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#2) Build strong flavors – Add in the dry thyme, sage and nutmeg.  Stir 1-2 minutes more.  Putting a little heat on your dry herbs and spices helps to bring out their flavors.

#3) Deglaze and build the sauce – Pour in the white wine and scrape up all those lovely, brown bits on the bottom of the pot.  Next, add in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

#4) Simmer away – Simmer, partially covered for 30 min to 2 hours.  Whatever you have the time for.  Stir occasionally.

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#5) Adjust and finish – Taste your pot of yum and add any salt and pepper you find lacking.  Lastly, stir in the sour cream and parsley and give it a final taste test.

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You’re done, spoon it’s deliciousness over rice and enjoy!

 

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