Yesterday when I published a recipe for Butternut Squash with Chile Yogurt Sauce that was the result of a foray to Uncorked Kitchen, a local cooking school, I made a commitment that I would try to publish this recipe today for the White Wine Braised Chicken with Mustard and Thyme that we made with the squash. I seldom publish two days in a row but knowing that it’s cocktails you come to see me for on Fridays; I knew that if I didn’t get it done today that it would have to be delayed until one day next week.
Now, that’s not the biggest deal but the truth is that I loved these two dishes together so much that I thought it almost cruel to make you wait. I know I don’t love waiting; call me impatient if you must but I didn’t want any teeth gnashing because I did to you what I hate people doing to me. Waiting. You know what VagueBooking is? When people tease about something on Facebook that’s coming up for them but don’t really tell? I did not want to be accused of VaguePosting here. 🙂
So here you have it. Talk about easy? This is it. The chicken and aromatics are browned in a large pan, the remaining ingredients are added and then the whole thing is finished in the oven. You know, it’s sort of like magic isn’t it? In goes an array of ingredients and out comes absolute nirvana!
That being said I have to admit that if there is such a thing that I am a mustardaholic. I have several on hand at all times and I’ve even made my own port wine cherry mustard (so good!). So of course a dish like this would be calling my name. I seriously love whole grain mustard. Contrary to what it may seem, the fact that it’s whole grain makes it more mellow than mustards that have been ground into the standard paste we’re used to. Besides…look at how cute those little seeds are! (Too much?)
Our classroom experience with this dish was focused more on chopping skills. Chef Albert Gonzales shared his tips on cutting an onion (honestly, it makes a difference!) and reminded all of us that even the most experienced can learn a new trick; what a smart and talented young man (see technique on Real Simple). I was impressed with all of the chefs and staff we met; warm, generous and obviously loving what they do. The classroom with stoves and cooking stations are all in the same room as your dining table, which is situation in front of a huge glass wall with a view of the Rocky Mountains. A wall that opens with a spectacular view. I wonder if I could just move in?
If you missed my post yesterday for this Butternut Squash dish; make sure you check it out. These two dishes together were quite simply the perfect pairing; the savory richness of the chicken was balanced nicely by the sweetness of the squash (with a hint of heat too). Good enough for a family meal and fancy enough for company; perfect right?
One caveat for my version? I only had boneless chicken thighs. I knew they would cook much faster once put into the oven so I made sure that I browned them well in the first stage. I’m including the recipe as provided by Uncorked Kitchen which called for bone-in legs and thighs and if you can find them, use them. As much as I love the ease of boneless thighs, that bone in a piece of meat creates more flavor especially with the longer cooking time associated with braising. Basically, do what I say, not what I did, OK?
Oh wait, a second caveat. I had no tarragon as called for in the recipe and none at the grocery; so I just finished mine with a sprig of thyme. Your call…the tarragon added a nice scent but the version I made at home without it was equally good. I use tarragon more in the summer when I can get it from my herb garden; I don’t find it’s that easy to source at the grocery so I didn’t even go out to look for it. Bad Barb…but hey, it worked just fine.
I loved this place; great ambiance, casual and fun. The location has an amazing view of the Rockies and even without attending a class; you can join friends in the wine bar and sip next to a gorgeous view. Meet me there?
White Wine Braised Chicken with Mustard and Thyme
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 lbs chicken thighs
- Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper
- 4 shallots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup whole grain mustard
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped thyme
- Thyme for Garnish
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil and butter in a 6 qt pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and working in batches, sear chicken on all sides until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside.
- Add shallots and garlic to pan and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add wine, stock, mustard and thyme and bring to a boil. Return chicken to the pan with any juices, cover with a lid, and transfer the pot to the oven. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 165 degrees.
- Transfer chicken to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Return pot to stove and bring sauce to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 8-10 minutes. Spoon sauce over the chicken and garnish with the thyme.