This delicious recipe is a fun alternative to a traditional Thanksgiving turkey meal, or a satisfying choice anytime of year. The chicken pairs perfectly with a nourishing gravy made with mushrooms, sautéed leeks, and fragrant herbs. Mushrooms have been shown to boost vitamin D levels and heighten immunity, making them a perfect food to enjoy during cooler weather when colds and flus become more frequent.
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
What You’ll Need:
1 baking dish
1 large skillet
For the chicken:
2 free-range chicken breasts (skin on and bone in)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon ground fennel seed
For the gravy:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, greens removed, white section sliced in half (about 2 cups)
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 ½ cups chicken stock (or use chicken or vegetable stock you purchase)
2 tablespoons ground kudzu root (arrowroot powder will also work)
squeeze of lemon juice
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
2 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme
sea salt to taste
Make the chicken stock or use your chicken or vegetable stock of choice.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish then drizzle with the olive oil. Season with sea salt, black pepper, and the ground fennel seed. Place the dish into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness.
While the chicken cooks, prepare the gravy. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and leeks. Stir, then allow to soften, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add in the mushrooms, stir to combine, then continue to cook the ingredients until lightly browned. Stir in the garlic, cook until fragrant, then pour in the stock.
Bring to a simmer and allow the liquid to reduce slowly over medium heat.
Once the chicken is done, remove from the oven and allow to rest. Finish the sauce by dissolving 1 tablespoon ground kudzu root (or arrowroot powder) in 2 tablespoons of water, then adding it to the gravy.
Once the liquid thickens, pour half into a blender and purée. Pour the purée back into the skillet.
Add a squeeze of lemon, the fresh herbs, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
To serve, slice the chicken against the grain, then cover with the gravy.
Recipe by Frank Giglio
Photography by Jenny Nelson