Here at FOTL headquarters we're snowed in and loving it. This sort of storm hits Seattle only every few years. We've got a half-foot of the white stuff on the ground and it's still coming down. I went for a ski through the neighborhood this morning and then took the kids to the park for some epic sledding. Mrs. Finspot is about to take a x-c tour. The city is shut down.
It's times like this when you're thankful for that stash of dried porcini in the cupboard—the secret ingredient to maximum comfort food. As it happens, here at FOTL we have a new cookbook to play with, a gift from Mrs. Finspot: The Herb Farm Cookbook. Naturally the first thing I did with it was open to the index to find a recipe for porcini.
Braised Chicken with Leeks and Porcini
1/2 oz dried porcini, reconstituted in a cup of hot water for 30 minutes, then chopped
2 medium leeks
1 bouquet garni: 1 4-inch sprig fresh rosemary, 1 4-inch sprig fresh sage, 6 3-inch springs thyme, and 1 dried bay leaf
1 3-4 lb chicken, cut up
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large, deep pan, brown chicken in oil, turning once or twice. Remove to platter.
2. Meanwhile cut off and discard the dark green leek tops. Slice remaining leeks lengthwise, then chop into half-moons down to the roots. Add leeks and chopped garlic to pan, cooking over medium-high heat until soft. Deglaze with wine. Add mushroom water and chopped porcini. Season with 1/2 tsp salt, then add bouquet garni. (The herbs in the garden were a little cold but still doable. I tied them together with a stout twig of thyme.) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Return chicken to pan and cook covered at a very low simmer, 50 minutes or so.
3. Transfer chicken to a platter and keep covered in warm oven. Discard bouquet garni. Stir chopped thyme and sage into pan. Raise heat to thicken sauce. Cook several minutes until desired consistency. Add parsley and cream. Return to a boil. Season and pour over chicken. Serve with egg noodles or potatoes. (We made fried new potatoes with garlic and kale.)