Porter-Braised Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables

Happy belated birthday (it was October 2nd) to Chuck Williams, the founder of Williams-Sonoma! 100 years old… that’s an accomplishment.

I have spent many happy hours in his stores, checking all kinds of kitchen utensils – fondling, planning, coveting and sniffing (the candles and soaps) and sometimes even buying. And www.williams-sonoma.com is still one of my favourite places to look for recipe ideas.

This recipe is from the lovely Williams-Sonoma cookbook called One Pot of The Day, 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year and this is October 1st’s entry – as close as I could get to Mr. Williams birthday. And despite the fact that I’ve tried cooking with celery root and porter before and been less than impressed with the results, I decided to give both ingredients another shot.

Start by seasoning, then browning the chicken thighs.

Chicken thighs, seasoned.

Chicken thighs, seasoned.

Here are the root vegetables: potatoes, carrots, an onion and the celery root.

Root vegetables.

Root vegetables.

Peel the carrots and cut them into chunks.

Carrots, cut into chunks.

Carrots, cut into chunks.

Celery root, ready to peel and cut.

Celery root.

Celery root.

Cubed celery root.

Cubed celery root.

Cubed celery root.

Diced onions.

Diced onions.

Diced onions.

Chicken is browned and moved into the Dutch oven.

Browned chicken.

Browned chicken.

Get the potatoes, celery root and carrots into the casserole too.

Add the other vegetables to the casserole.

Add the other vegetables to the casserole.

Sauté the onions.

Cooking the onions.

Cooking the onions.

When the onions are golden, pour the porter.

The porter is poured.

The porter is poured.

Add the chicken stock too.

Chicken stock is also poured.

Chicken stock is also poured.

Get the brown sugar…

Add the brown sugar.

Add the brown sugar.

Dijon mustard…

Add the mustard too.

Add the mustard too.

Tomato paste…

Tomato paste is added.

Tomato paste is added.

and dried thyme into the pot as well.

The thyme is added too.

The thyme is added too.

Bring the sauce to a boil.

Get the sauce bubbling.

Get the sauce bubbling.

Pour the sauce over the waiting chicken and vegetables.

Add the sauce to the chicken and vegetables.

Add the sauce to the chicken and vegetables.

I made the sauce then added it to the chicken and vegetables which is a bit different than what the recipe advises. That’s because I wanted to put this dish into the oven, rather than cook it on top of the stove. The cooking times were the pretty much the same.

While the chicken and vegetables are in the oven, make the thickening liquid.

Start with the flour and butter.

Flour and butter.

Flour and butter.

Mix them together to make a paste.

Combined.

Combined.

Add 2 cups of the liquid from the Dutch oven.

Add some of the cooking liquid.

Add some of the cooking liquid.

Whisk to blend.

Whisk to combine.

Whisk to combine.

Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir to combine.

Pour the thickening liquid back into the pot and stir to combine.

Pour the thickening liquid back into the pot and stir to combine.

Get the lid on and back into the oven.

Back into the oven.

Back into the oven.

Fifteen minutes later, it’s ready to serve.

After 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes.

Porter-Braised Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables.

Porter-Braised Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables.

Porter-Braised Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables.

This tasted fantastic, so I’m glad I tried cooking with porter and celery root again.

Here’s the original recipe:
http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/porter-braised-chicken-thighs-with-root-vegetables.html

Porter-Braised Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 4

Slightly bitter and with a deep coffee-like flavor, porter, a very dark ale, makes this braise rustic and hearty. The interplay of the toasty nuances from the porter, the sweetness of root vegetables and the spiciness of Dijon mustard creates a poultry stew full of contrasting but harmonious flavors.

Ingredients

2 carrots
2 red potatoes
1 celery root, about 14 oz.
1 large yellow onion
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 3 1/4 lb. total
2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
2 Tbsp. canola oil
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 bottles porter, each 12 fl. oz.
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
2 Tbsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Directions

Peel the carrots and then cut the carrots and unpeeled potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Peel the celery root, cut it in half lengthwise, and then cut away any spongy or gnarly parts. Cut into 1-inch chunks. Peel and chop the onion.

Season the chicken thighs with the 2 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. In a Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil until very hot but not smoking. Working in batches, add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook, turning once or twice, until lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter. Pour off the fat in the pot.

Reduce the heat to medium, add 2 Tbs. of the butter to the pot and let it melt. Add the onion and sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes and celery root, then stir in the porter, broth, brown sugar, mustard, tomato paste and thyme. Return the chicken thighs to the pot, submerging them in the liquid, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

In a heatproof bowl, mash together the remaining 5 Tbs. butter and the flour to form a thick paste. Gradually whisk about 2 cups of the hot cooking liquid into the flour-butter mixture and then stir this mixture into the pot. Cover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife near the bone, about 10 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Divide the chicken, vegetables and sauce among warmed deep bowls. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.

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