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Foster Farms Cooking Contest

Braised Chicken on Sweet Onion and Grape Hash

With Wild Mushroom Sauce
Jessica Sandberg, Portland, OR

Serves 4

4 Foster Farms fresh chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
3 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tbsp salt, divided
1 ½ tsps freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 Walla Walla sweet onion, cut into rings
2 tbsps vegetable oil, divided
1 fennel, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
10 sprigs thyme, 6 whole sprigs and 4 sprigs leaves only
1 dried bay leaf
2 cups chicken stock, divided
2 ½ cups red seedless grapes
2 cups wild mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp water
1 tsp apple cider
¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Place potato pieces in small bowl; sprinkle with one half teaspoon salt and one half teaspoon pepper. In separate bowl, toss onion rings gently with one teaspoon vegetable oil, one half teaspoon salt and one half teaspoon pepper. Arrange potato pieces and onion rings on baking sheet. Place in oven and cook until softened to centers, about 20 – 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

In Dutch oven over medium high heat, add one tablespoon vegetable oil to warmed pot. Place chicken thighs, skin-side down, in pot. Cook until browned; turn and continue cooking until browned on other side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from heat and set aside.

Lower heat to medium. To pot add fennel, celery, whole thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Sauté vegetables about 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Pour one half cup chicken stock into pan and stir to deglaze. Return chicken to pot, skin-side up, and add remaining chicken stock. Bring to a simmer. Cover pot with lid and place in oven; cook 15 – 20 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.

While chicken is cooking, place grapes in medium bowl. Toss with one teaspoon vegetable oil and one half teaspoon salt and one half teaspoon pepper. Arrange grapes on baking sheet, place in hot oven with chicken and cook until grapes begin to burst, about 8 to 10 minutes.

When chicken is done, remove pot from oven. Remove chicken to plate and keep warm. Strain braising liquid into medium saucepan. Place on stove over high heat and boil to reduce to about three fourths of a cup of liquid, about 15 minutes.

While liquid is boiling, add remaining vegetable oil to medium skillet; warm over medium heat. Place mushrooms in pan and sauté until wilted, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add reduced braising liquid to mushrooms in pan along with smoked paprika. In small bowl, stir together cornstarch and water; add this mixture to pan and stir well. Allow sauce to continue cooking until it thickens, about 6 minutes. Season sauce with remaining salt.

In large serving bowl, combine roasted potatoes, onions, grapes, thyme leaves and apple cider vinegar. Stir gently. Arrange chicken thighs on top. Cover with mushroom sauce. Garnish with chopped hazelnuts.