My local organic produce market always has surprises awaiting, this Saturday Cremini mushrooms and fresh angelica! Fresh angelica is a rarity almost anywhere, and in Thailand? Amazing Thailand!
To set you at ease, sprigs of mature flat leaf parsley or celery leaves will do nicely for the recipe that follows should fresh angelica not be available.
Wild angelica is readily found in the northern hemisphere; particularly in Iceland and Scandinavian countries, where it is used to flavor spirits, as well as the Eastern Mediterranean, where is a favored savory ingredient in Persian dishes. In fact, you may well have encountered brilliantly green candied angelica stems decorating on an old fashioned confection your grandmother may have made, with no idea what it actually was.
Angelica is aromatic with taste overtones of juniper that blooms and refreshingly lingers long after you have finished your meal. Inspired and intrigued by this find, I wanted to cook a simple one pan meal and let this gorgeous herb bring it to life!
Pan Roasted Chicken with Cremini Mushrooms and Angelica: Serves 4
- 1 pound/450g small golden potatoes, skin on
- 2 pounds fresh spinach, trimmed
- 4 chicken legs with thighs attached, skin on
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup finely diced shallots
- 14 Cremini mushrooms; brushed clean, half sliced and the remaining whole
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon thyme
- 1 cup Angelica leaves, whole
Potatoes: Cut the potatoes into wedges and place in a saucepan along with water to cover and a dash of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Spinach: Rinse the spinach and shake off excess water. Trim off the bottom stems and chop the spinach, including stalks. Place in a steamer and steam about 8 minutes until wilted. Remove from the steamer, drain, and set aside to cool.
Chicken: Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
Select a large skillet that will hold the chicken, potatoes, and mushrooms, and will also fit into your oven for roasting.
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C
Melt the butter and olive oil in the skillet until bubbling. Add the chicken, skin side down, and sear until lightly browned. Turn the chicken and brown the other side. Remove the chicken to a platter and set aside.
Add the shallots to the skillet and sauté until the shallots are soft and translucent. Add the sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt and sauté for several minutes. Add the wine and turn the heat up a bit and deglaze the pan as the wine reduces. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon thyme once the wine has reduced by half. Stir in the whole angelica leaves and mix together.
Turn off the heat and remove the skillet to a padded work surface. Arrange the chicken in the skillet skin side up. Tilt the pan and gather the shallots and juices to one side. Add the potatoes and whole mushrooms to the skillet and spoon the shallots and juices over all.
Transfer the skillet to middle of the preheated oven and place a sheet of foil loosely over the skillet. Set the timer and roast for 30 minutes.
Carefully remove the foil and continue to roast for 15 to 20 minutes.
Caution: The handle of the skillet will be extremely hot when it comes out of the oven, so be sure to have a well padded oven mitt handy.
Remove the skillet from the oven and place on a padded work surface.!
Transfer the chicken, potatoes, and mushrooms to a serving platter, or baking dish, cover with foil and kitchen towel, and set aside to rest while you reheat the spinach.
There should be plenty of pan juices left in the skillet, but add water or stock if needed. Add the reserved steamed spinach to the skillet set over low heat to reheat the spinach briefly.
Serving: Arrange the chicken to one side on each serving plate. Add potatoes, whole mushrooms, and a serving of spinach using a slotted spoon. Spoon the pan juices along with any remaining sliced mushrooms over all and serve.
Garnish with fresh sprigs of angelica, parsley, or celery leaves.