JBF Award winner Naomi Pomeroy advises that you should serve this rustic one-pot meal directly out of the Dutch oven in which it is cooked. If you don't have a Dutch oven, Pomeroy suggests searing the chicken in a large sauté pan, transfering it to a roasting pan to finish cooking, and then serving it in a casserole dish.
Porcini-Braised Chicken Thighs
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 cups roughly chopped yellow onions, cut into 11/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups sliced, peeled carrots, cut on the bias into 3-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 2 fresh or 4 dried bay leaves
- 12 bone-in, skin-on room temperature chicken thighs
- 2 to 3 tablespoons salt
- 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups homemade stock or other high-quality stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables get some color. Add the garlic, porcini, thyme, and bay leaves and mix to combine. Turn off the heat but leave the Dutch oven on the burner.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Season each chicken thigh with 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt (depending on its size; a large thigh will weigh about 10 ounces and a small one about 6 ounces) and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper.
- Heat a black steel pan over high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat until the surface is rippling but not smoking. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, add 4 chicken thighs, skin side down, and lower the heat slightly, to medium-high. Weight down the thighs with a heavy plate to create an even sear across the entire surface and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until evenly golden but not too dark in any spots. Check after the first 1 to 2 minutes to ensure no black spots are forming and lower the heat as needed. Place the thighs, skin side up, in a single layer in the Dutch oven and repeat two more times with the remaining oil and chicken thighs, rinsing the pan and wiping it completely dry after each batch.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock and wine to a simmer. Pour the stock mixture into the Dutch oven; the edges of the chicken should be submerged but the skin should be exposed. It’s important not to cover the chicken skin completely or it won’t get crisp.
- Cover the Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid (or with aluminum foil if using a roasting pan), place in the oven, and cook for 1 1/4 hours, or until the chicken is completely tender. Turn up the oven temperature to 400°F, remove the cover, and continue to cook until the chicken skin is crisp, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the oven, discard the thyme sprigs as best you can, and serve directly from the pot.