Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Baked Chicken with Mushrooms

I adapted this meal from those "minute steaks" i cooked back in September. Instead of battering and frying tenderized beef steaks, i skinned and de-fatted a whole chicken, cut apart its thighs and breasts and prepared them for some delicious pan and oven action.

As an aside: i very, very rarely buy chicken already split up into breasts or thighs, etc unless they're majorly 'reduced for quick sale' and the chicken is 'all natural.' I'd really prefer to get all my chicken from local farmers, but our budget isn't quite that robust i'm very sad to say. SO i get foster farms natural chicken from California at a local market that sells it for $1 a pound, in a whole chicken. I feel that buying a whole chicken is at least one step i can take: less packaging, less processing, more nutrition included and you can make stock from the bones when you're done. 

My husband had called ahead with news of his mushroom find, but he didn't arrive home until almost 8 pm! That's pretty darned late to just be getting something in the oven. But i relaxed, rolled with the punches, and we both enjoyed a super delicious meal.

De-fatted and boned chicken breasts and thighs, slathered in Celtic salt, rosemary, basil, dried cayenne and pepper.
Washed and split leeks ready to be the bed of a delicious chicken bake. I've decided all roasted and baked chickens need to lay on a bed of leeks.

First i slathered the chicken in herbs and spices and pan fried them in a tiny bit of coconut oil until browned on each side and cooked through about halfway. I moved the chicken over to the leek bed and started sauteing onions and garlic. Once soft, i sifted in a bit of flour, stirred and covered in some turkey stock, bringing to a simmer. Normally, i would have put the shrooms in right away until they were soft, poured them over the chicken and popped it all into a 400 degree oven stat. BUT the mushrooms didn't arrive for quite some time, so i paced around the house wondering how the heck i'd get to sleep after eating dinner around 8:30 or so. Major Grrrrr fest.

The mushrooms finally came! I added them to the gravy and cooked until soft, topped the chicken and in the oven it went. After about 15-30 minutes (i cut it short due to starvation and bed time) the chicken was done to my liking and we ate a scrumpteoous meal, with a side of sauteed collards (with smoked paprika and a smidge of bacon).

At some point i'll have a well lit kitchen so that i can take actually QUALITY photographs. Sigh.

I served only the breasts and returned the thighs to the turned off oven to keep cooking a bit before i put them away as leftovers, just to be sure they got cooked through.

Super delicious, even if it was a little later than i'd like to eat. This mushroomy gravey would be awesome on ANY kind of meat, even just more veggies. I highly recommend this technique and encourage you to try it with different meats to see how it tastes.

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