Recipe to Try: Spring Chicken
Originally posted on http://paleoperiodical.com/
So many flavors of spring are starting to appear at the grocery store, so why not throw them all in a crockpot together? If you want to go the extra mile here- you can brown the chicken and saute the veggies first. Could you just throw everything in the crockpot? Sure!
8 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, finely diced (if you can find them, pearl onions would be lovely too)
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup tarragon, chopped (sub 1 Tbsp. rosemary if you can’t find tarragon)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 – 2 cups chicken broth (this will depend on the size of your crockpot)
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends snapped off and chopped into 1-inch segments
Garnish: chives, snipped
1) Sprinkle S&P on both sides of chicken. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook another 5 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and put in the crockpot.
2) Add your mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery) to the skillet, making sure to scrape up any browned bits. When onions are translucent (2-3 minutes), add mushrooms. When mushrooms are beginning to release their moisture, about 3 minutes more, stir in garlic, lemon zest, and tarragon. Turn off heat and add contents of skillet to the crockpot. Pour in broth until it reaches halfway up the pile of chicken. Put a lid on it.
3) If you’re cooking this all day and have plenty of time, set the crockpot to low. If it’s a few hours before dinner time, I crank it to high until everything reaches a good temperature, then switch it to low. If using the latter, I’d give it at least two hours.
4) About 20 minutes before serving, stir in lemon juice and dump asparagus pieces on top of the chicken. Allow to steam until crisp-tender.
5) To serve, dig chicken out (tongs are very helpful here, because—say it with me kids!—the meat just falls off the bone!) and put two on a plate (soup/pasta plates with a rim are great for this). Spoon asparagus and broth on and around chicken. Garnish with snipped chives.
NOTES: You could be REALLY lazy and do this as a stew and get all the same flavors. Just use boneless, skinless thighs, diced up, and do the whole thing in a pot on the stove. Just don’t be tempted to dump the asparagus in at the beginning. Mushy asparagus never helped anyone.