Friday, July 15, 2016

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Almonds and Multitasking

I have started to realize there are some days that I am taking my multitasking a little too far...way too far! Even for a full-time working wife and mother, sometimes we just tend to over do it.

I realized it when this week, I had to have my car's quarterly service done.  My first mistake was making the appointment at 7:00 am.  That mean's my caboose needs to get up extra, extra early. Well, I stayed up a little later the night before, trying to tidy up the house before I went to bed.  I have also realized I truly like waking up to a perfectly neat and uncluttered house in the morning.  Putting away mail, straightening up the throw blankets and pillows (yes, I know it's 97 degrees here during the day, but we still like to snuggle with our throws in the evening) and giving the kitchen one last wipe down and polish before I call it a night.  It just gives a feeling of starting the day off fresh.

Well, all that freshness that I was organizing the night before, made me sleep in the next morning!..not good. I had to do the hyper speed shower (which meant the shaving of my legs just got postponed to the next day...again...ewww!!) and the fastest hair drying ever!

I didn't want to be late for my car appointment and get sent to the back of the waiting line...definitely no time for that!  I had achieved getting my "base face" on at home and proceeded to pack up the finishing color touches in my purse.  I grabbed the rest of my hair items and off I went.

After checking my car in, I headed to their restroom (and may I add it is one of the nicest public restrooms I have ever seen).  The place was empty and freshly cleaned.  I then dumped my mail that I needed to still open, the rest of my make up, my hair accessory and spray, and the jewelry I hadn't put on yet either.

There I am in Ford's private dressing room space...getting ready.  I looked down at the counter and just laughed!  Too much going on in life right now...must step back, take a break and breathe.  Oh, then I saw a bottle of clear top coat polish in my purse...what the heck, might as well do a quick pedicure touch up on my toes too while I'm waiting for my car!!

You're probably wondering where this is all going and what does it have to do with today's recipe. Well, as my brain was on overload, I realized I never posted this recipe in my que from our anniversary dinner menu. ...yes, the meal I made two months ago, yes that one!!  See, I told you...too much multitasking going on!

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Almonds
Courtesy of Anne Burrell, Food Network

extra virgin olive oil
8 chicken thighs
kosher salt
1/2 pound pancetta, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 large onions, julienned
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as baby bella, button, cremini, cleaned and sliced
2 cups dry white wine
4 to 6 cups chicken stock
1 bundle thyme
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted

Coat a large, wide, deep pan with olive oil and bring to a high heat.  Pat the chicken skin dry with paper towels and season generously with salt.  Add chicken, skin side down to the pan.  * If the pan is smoking excessively, turn the burner down and continue to cook.*  When the skin is brown and crispy, turn the chicken over and brown it on the other side.  Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve.

Lower the heat and remove most of the excess fat.  Add the pancetta and brown.  When the pancetta has started to get brown and crispy add the onions.  Season with salt and crushed red pepper and sweat over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until they release their juices.  Add the wine and reduce by half.  Return the chicken to the pan.  Add chicken stock to almost cover the chicken.  Add the thyme and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.   Simmer the chicken for 30 to 35 minutes.  Add more chicken stock, if needed.

While the chicken is cooking puree the almonds in the food processor.  Drizzle in a little olive oil while the machine is running to make a loose paste.  Season with salt and reserve.

Once the chicken has cooked for 30 to 35 minutes, remove it from the pan and reserve.  Taste the sauce for seasoning and add in the almond puree.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer to thicken the sauce, if needed.  The almond puree with help thicken the sauce and make it very rich.

Add the chicken back into the sauce and keep warm until ready to serve.

** Serve over Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Sauteed Haricots Verts

One Year Ago: Spaghetti Squash Fritters
Two Years Ago: Grilled Vegetable Salad

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