MFK Fisher notes that anything can be a lodestar in a person’s life, and for some, the kitchen serves well. Often the real influence of the lodestar is half understood or partly unsuspected and it slowly becomes clear what is due to its shaping. For me and Miss Fisher, it is the kitchen.
It is been too long a time since my last post. Days turn to weeks, weeks to months, the winter becomes spring. Before the bright colors of summer emerge, the young greens burst onto the scene. Lush, green spring has its own brand of alliums- members of the onion and garlic family- enlisting fresh, herbal flavors, sweetness, and succulence in place of shelf-stable bulbs. A short season at that, here is a wonderful, uncomplicated recipe adapted from moms own. Forming the base of savory dishes all year long, in the spring they really become the stars. More delicate and less pungent as opposed to the more mature ones, they turn tender and sweet when cooked. Look for these alliums at your farmers’ market, all with different flavors, characteristics, textures and uses. Green onions, the immature shoots of the bulb, green garlic- harvested just before the garlic begins to form cloves and ramps, these prized relatives of the leek, also known as wild leeks, with their strong, oniony flavor. Green garlic is my favorite and I look forward to it all year long. Although green garlic (or spring garlic, as it is sometimes called) sounds exotic, the truth is that it’s just the young version of the garlic that we all know and love. In this recipe I choose to substitute the mature garlic for the young plant where I can use the the bulb, stalk, leaves and scapes. A braising method that doesn’t require hours of cooking.
Mom’s Garlicky Chicken Thighs with Morel Mushrooms and Parsley
2 lbs. (bone in skin on) organic chicken thighs, pastured if available
2 bunches green garlic (about 1 lb)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tbsp rendered lard (or coconut oil)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Half bunch organic parsley finely chopped
5 (handful) morel mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup bone broth
Splash or more ! of dry white wine
Cut dark-green tops from green garlic and slice crosswise ½” thick; slice bulbs and pale-green stalks crosswise ¼” thick. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil (and lard or coconut oil )in a large braising pan over medium heat. Add garlic bulbs and stalks and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, 8–10 minutes. Remove garlic from pan, place to the side, brown the chicken thighs in the same skillet, skin down, low heat, adding remaining oil. Only turn chicken once when skin easily comes away from the pan. With both sides browned add broth, garlic tops, parsley, and sliced mushrooms, broth and wine. Cover with lid and simmer for 20 -30 minutes, let sit and serve.