So it was just chicken, but it seemed to me it would be a very good chicken. I also had the help of some wonderful foraged mushrooms.
It was very good chicken.
And there was excellent wine.
I had bought the wild mushrooms at the Union Square Greenmarket. I knew I wouldn’t be able to use them that night, but I hadn’t thought about what I would cook them with the next day until after I had left the square and was approaching 23rd Street. I realized I didn’t have anything suitable at home, but I was already some distance from the farmers’ market, so I checked out my local Flatiron district Eataly, where I found they had product, new to me, that it seemed a perfect candidate.
The peppers were also pretty special.
- two partially-boned Cascun Farm chicken thighs (a total of one pound) from Eataly, browned on both sides inside a heavy oval cast iron enameled pot (one with a secure cover) just large enough for the chicken in some olive oil, removed and set aside, a little butter added and melted, 3 whole Rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm; one small red onion from Norwich Meadows Farm, halved and broken up a bit; and some crushed dried dark habanada pepper added to the pot and heated over a moderate flame until the alliums had softened and colored, then nearly 4 ounces of foraged Wine-cap mushrooms [Stropharia rugosoannulata] from Windfall Farms, roughly chopped, tossed in, stirred, and allowed to soften, the chicken returned to the pot, about 1/4 cup of a proper white wine added (Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde 2016, which we have been enjoying as an aperitif) and brought to a boil, the heat lowered to a steady simmer, the pot covered and the chicken and the other ingredients cooked until all were tender, or about 40 minutes, served on a crusty slice of ’12 Grain & Seed Bread’ (organic wheat and whole wheat with 12 cracked grains and seeds) from Bread Alone, the chicken garnished with chopped lovage from Keith’s Farm [the recipe which inspired this, from ‘Chicken Parts, 12 Ways‘, one suggests spreading the softened garlic onto the bread before placing the chicken and the rest of the sauce on top, but I forgot]
- some ‘Mars’ (sweet, citrusy) French heirloom peppers from Campo Rosso Farm, cut once lengthwise, the seeds and membranes removed, sautéed over a high flame until slightly caramelized, one sliced Japanese scallion, a chopped section from a small Calabrian medium hot cherry pepper from Alewife Farm, and a pinch of crushed dark dried habanada pepper added near the end, the mix tossed with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper and sprinkled with some chopped summer savory from Ryder Farm, served with a drizzle of olive oil
- the wine was a terrific French (Chinon) red, Bernard Baudry ‘Les Grézeaux’ Chinon 2011, the gift of some wonderful friends
- the music was Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s 1693 tragédie mise en musique, ‘Médée’, composed with a libretto by Corneille, in a performance by William Christie and Les Arts Florissants