Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy anniversary, baby/Got you on my mind - Braised chicken

Today is our 15th anniversary! I was sure it was our 14th until Steve reminded me otherwise. I am a hopeless non-romantic as I barely even remembered the date. I don't love my husband any less, I just don't remember the date we got married. Is that so wrong?

To make it up to him I gave him his choice of dinner and dessert. He waffled on the entree choice but picked chocolate cake for dessert. As I was wandering around the grocery store today I found chicken thighs on sale and started thinking about a nice slow oven braise, particularly since I had also found sliced crimini mushrooms on the clearance rack and I thought they would go nicely with the thighs. So, I seasoned the thighs, dusted them with flour and browned them in a Dutch oven in a combo of oil and butter. Then I added a large sliced sweet onion, five cloves of garlic and about a pound of sliced mushrooms (there were eight thighs), a cup of white wine and a couple cups of vegetable broth. For seasoning other than salt and pepper, I tucked a little bundle of fresh thyme stems into the liquid. I had preheated the oven to a low 250F and popped the covered pot in the oven for about 2.5 hours. After that, I raised the heat to 400F and let the liquid reduce and thicken and the tops of the thighs to crisp up. In the meantime, I made some mashed potatoes to go alongside.
A few days ago I promised to share the easiest, best chocolate cake recipe. You can find it here, on This is so easy and so good that once you make it, you'll never buy another chocolate cake mix again. (I suppose I should look for a similar yellow cake recipe; I'm sure one exists.) It's moist and chocolate-y and not too sweet (despite the amount of sugar in the recipe...). I like making either a cocoa buttercream or a cocoa whipped cream icing (or a combo, which is what I did today), but a white frosting with coconut would be really good too. Good photos of the cake eluded me, however, so this is all you get.

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