My dear friend Angie offered to trim my baby’s bangs the other day and not only did she clean up her little head, I got to enjoy her company and she sent me home with rhubarb from her garden. I don’t have a lot of experience cooking with rhubarb and since I am not one to make desserts I sought out a savory recipe to use for these fresh red stalks. I love the tartness of the rhubarb, it is deliciously fruity and paired wonderfully with chicken thighs. The dish started out very pretty, but rhubarb unfortunately looses its pretty ruby hue when cooked and turn brownish. The flavors were delicious though and it was perfect paired with grits, a little shout out to my southern upbringing. I have had a long hiatus from Italicious, life has been getting in the way of my joys in the kitchen. Two kids is 100 times more work than one and after a year in the Seattle area, I feel like I am finally (kind of) getting my bearings. My kitchen inspirations are still pretty nil, but I am going to try and muster up a bit more, at least for the sake of the blog and for my own creative needs.
1(5 1/2-pound) whole chicken, cut into eight pieces
1tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
1teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
5sprigs thyme, preferably lemon thyme
2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1bunch spring onions or scallions, white and light green stalks thinly sliced (slice and reserve greens for garnish)
2stalks green garlic, thinly sliced, or 2 garlic cloves, minced
½cup dry white wine
¾pound fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch dice (3 cups)
1tablespoon honey, or to taste
2tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Pat chicken dry and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place in a bowl with the thyme sprigs and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove thyme from bowl with chicken, reserving thyme. Add chicken pieces to skillet and sear, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer pieces to a platter.
Reduce heat to medium. Stir in onion (white and light green parts) and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and reserved thyme; cook 1 minute more. Stir in wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits in the bottom of pan. Add rhubarb, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Return chicken pieces to pot in a single layer. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes for breasts and 20 to 25 minutes for legs and thighs, transferring chicken pieces to a platter as they finish cooking.
Whisk butter into rhubarb sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Spoon sauce over chicken and garnish with sliced onion greens.