Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let It Snow!


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.)

7 comments:

audrey said...

That could be my favorite cookbook of all time. Perfect meal for this kind of weather. Enjoy the skiing!

Bascoe Tim said...

Looks like a fine meal but the wine you chose to go with it---excellent---one of the best of Walla2. Did you get to try the Syzygy Saros 134 I brought to BP?

drfugawe said...

Even after eating breakfast, this is making me hungry! The kale and potatoes look wonderful - is that also from the book? Or your personal creation? (love those greens!)

Looks like you guys will have a white Christmas - ain't that grand! Enjoy the hell out of it.
doc

Finspot said...

Audrey: I've just scratched the surface but already I can tell it will be a regular in the rotation. I hope you're making the best of this weather too. Another several inches last night!

Bascoe: A friend brought over the wine. It's a good one indeed. As for BP, I'm trying the remember... what else did you bring that weekend? Obviously I need to make a visit to your cellar!

Doc: The side was a simple potato fryjob with some garlic and kale tossed in right before the dinner bell--a very nice compliment to the chicken. Is your 'shroom season done don south? How about truffles?

drfugawe said...

Fin,
No, since we don't get snowed out, there are winter shrooms that can be had - for me, it all depends on the weather - I won't go out in nasty stuff, no matter what. Yes, I'll be going after some truffles this winter, however I have no idea of where to go.

sally @mixedgreens said...

This reminds me of all that I have yet to discover in The Herbfarm Cookbook, though I have some solid favorites already. Wasn't hungry, but when I read the recipe and gazed upon your plate . . . I'm a goner. Appears to be a perfect winter's meal.

Poppy@mixedgreens said...

Glad to see you got one of my personal favorite cookbooks. I made the home-cured salmon over the holidays. Really could have used your expert help cutting up the whole fish. How about a lesson in how to fillet a salmon for us newbies?