Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Apr 15, 2014

Braised Chicken with Fennel and Fava Beans

Libations used: 1 cup white wine
Libations left over: Pretty much the whole bottle, so pour yourself a glass while that chicken is braising...
Apologies dear lushes, for the rather long delay in posting anything.  I've just been having too much fun these past few weeks and haven't had time to sit down at my computer to hammer these recipes and stories out.  Easter is coming up next Sunday, and while most people traditionally serve lamb, my parents are not fans of the protein.  When I cook Easter dinner for them, it's typically a roasted or braised whole chicken — it's simple, delicious, colorful, and doesn't demand a lot of my time at the stove.  I recently made this Braised Chicken from Bon Appetit, but because baby artichokes weren't going to pop up at my market for another week or so, I added in fennel and a whole, sliced lemon.  I almost didn't track down any fava beans, and if you find yourself in the same situation, use some snap peas instead!  This is a great recipe to get creative with, so sub in any fresh, springtime vegetable you have on hand.  Serve with fresh, crusty bread, because you'll want it to sop up all that yummy wine sauce.
Braised Chicken with Fennel and Fava Beans - serves 4-6
  • 1 cup fresh fava beans (from about 1 lb of pods)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • One 4 lb chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • 8 shallots, peeled and halved 
  • 1 large fennel bulb, sliced (reserve the fronds)
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine (I used Sanford's Flor De Campo Chardonnay)
  • 3 Tbs white wine or chardonnay vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil, and then add the fava beans, cooking until tender for about 4 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a colander set in a bowl of ice water to cool.
- Drain, remove the skins, and set aside in a small bowl.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil.
- Working in 2 batches, cook the chicken, skin side down without turning, until browned and crisp (about 6-8 minutes), and transfer to a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium, and add the shallots and fennel, stirring often until golden brown and beginning to soften (about 8-10 minutes).
- Add the wine and vinegar and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits, and reducing to half (about 5 minutes).
- Add the broth and lemon slices, and then place the chicken back in the pot, skin side up.
- Top the chicken with some large fennel fronds.
- Transfer to the oven and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through (about 20-25 minutes).
- Mix in the fava beans.
- Serve the chicken topped with chives and parsley, with the fennel, shallots, and lemon on the side.