Whenever the weather gets gray and blustery like this, I start craving warm, home-cooked meals that stick to my bones. Time to work on that winter bod and get start getting ready for hibernation – see you guys in April!
I’m only half joking.
Last weekend, I couldn’t get the thought of having a proper Sunday roast chicken out of my brain. As you guys know, I haven’t really been cooking or eating much meat at home lately and generally feeling great about it. I’ve been trying to make an more of an effort to be more attuned with my body, listening more closely to what it needs and how the foods that I choose to eat make me feel. On most days it’s usually lighter dishes and veggies, but last weekend I could feel that my body was craving some protein. What the body wants, the body gets.
When I do cook meat nowadays, it has to be really special. This recipe definitely hits the spot! Instead of a whole chicken, we opted to roast up some chicken thighs (the best part of the chicken, in my opinion, besides the feet) with herbs and served it with some delicious red-wine braised mushrooms. Kind of reminiscent of chicken marsala. But way better. Me and Ryan ate this with a leafy salad and a ton of red wine…the perfect cure for the Sunday blues.
The real star of this dish truly are the braised mushrooms. Are you ready for this? Oyster and Crimini mushrooms are sauteed in butter and garlic, and then simmered with crushed tomatoes, red wine, veggie stock and springs of fresh thyme and rosemary. Ooooooh yea. So indulgent. We spooned them over our roasted chicken, but it would be equally delicious served over some egg noodles as a plant-based alternative or solo as an impressive thanksgiving side dish.
They’re even more delicious the next day as leftovers, when the flavors get some time to hang out and mingle. I won’t judge you if you feel tempted to eat this straight from the tupperware cold, with the fridge door still open…which I may or may not have done.
4 chicken thighs
1 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, sliced + more whole cloves for roasting
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
Pre-heat oven to 425F. Remove leaves from stem of 1 sprig of thyme and 1 sprig of rosemary. Place loose thyme and rosemary into a bowl, and add olive oil, sliced garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. Dip chicken thighs into bowl to marinate, making sure that they are coated evenly. Place chicken on baking sheet, skin side up. I added some whole garlic cloves and some sad, wilted leeks I found in the crisper to roast along with the chicken, a decision that I did not regret.
Roast 25 minutes, or until skin turns brown and crispy and the juices run clear. Remove and let sit for at least 5 minutes covered to let the meat “rest” before spooning mushrooms over the chicken.
Red Wine Braised Mushrooms
1 tbs butter
1 lb oyster mushrooms, separated
1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced in quarters
4 cloves garlic – sliced thinly
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup vegetable broth
1 can whole tomatoes (I used san marzano)
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
Melt 1 tbs butter in a large pan and add garlic. Stir until fragrant. Admire how delicious your kitchen smells right about now.
Now for the mushrooms. To clean them, I like to give them a light sponge bath with a damp paper towel, rubbing off any dirt off gently. For the Crimini mushrooms, remove them stem (save them for veggie stock!) and cut the caps into quarters. If you get the oyster mushrooms in one whole …clump (?), separate the mushrooms by pulling them apart. If the oyster mushrooms are huge, I like to cut them in half. You don’t want to cut the mushrooms too small though, or else they’ll just disappear into the sauce.
Add your nicely cleaned and prepared mushrooms to the butter and garlic, add salt and pepper and sautee. Cover with a lid and let them steam until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the red wine, veggie stock and canned tomatoes. Make sure you crush the tomatoes before you add them in with the mushrooms. You can use a spoon, but I like to squish them with my hands. Add the springs of thyme and rosemary to the mixture. Simmer on low heat covered for 30 minutes.