Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Pear Salad & Garlic Croutons

One of the benefits of living in such a beautiful area is that it also comes with an amazing assortment of local ingredients that we can cook with. Not everything is in season when you'd like it to be but there is no reason you can't eat local all year round here. That is why I recently picked up a book called "Wildwood, Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest."

The book is written by Cory Schreiber who is the chef and owner of the famous restaurant Wildwood in Portland, Oregon. Although Chef Schreiber focuses mostly on ingredients from Oregon you will find it translates easily for we northerners. The seafood, wine, forest mushrooms, berries and produce that he uses can all be found here too.

This cookbook makes me wish I lived next door to a farmers market because I want to prepare just about everything in it. Consider some of these recipes:

  • Panfried Razor Clams with Bread Crumbs, Herbs and Lemon
  • Salad of Field Greens with Crispy Fried Oysters, Aioli, and Smoky Bacon on an Herbed Crepe.
  • Creamed Morels with Apple Brandy, Thyme, and Roasted Garlic.
  • Roasted Chicken Thighs with Morel Mushrooms, Asparagus and Garlic
  • Potato and Clam Soup with Sour Cream, Thyme, and Garlic Croutons.

The top two recipes you can prepare just about any time of year but the recipes with morels is a short but delicious season in the spring. I am looking forward to pairing the asparagus and morels since Chef Schreiber thinks they're a perfect match that ripen at the same time in the Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, I'm not above taking different things from recipes and putting them together in my own way.

The bottom line is that you have to use what is available in your own pantry sometimes because running to the store every time you need an ingredient is bad for the environment and not much fun either. So with some Thundering Hooves chicken thighs, fresh garlic, local pears, fresh rosemary and fresh greens on hand I put something together. When all put together it made a delicious meal.


2 T Olive Oil

2 T Balsamic vinegar

1 T minced fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

8 chicken thighs, or 4 boneless chicken breast halves

In a large self-sealing plastic bag, combine the oil, vinegar, rosemary, and pepper. Add the chicken, seal the bag, and rotate to coat the chicken. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Roast in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a knife.


2 T olive oil

1 to 2 cloves garlic, depending on your taste

2 cups 1/2 thick cubed french or country bread

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the garlic for 3 minutes, or until translucent; do not brown! Add the bread cubes, tossing to coat. Place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside. Can be prepared in advance.

Take 1 pear and cut into slices. Place on top of mixed field greens. Prepare your dressing:

1 tsp olive oil

2 T Balsamic vinegar

1 T Honey

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk and drizzle over greens and pears. Top with Garlic Croutons and serve with Roasted Chicken.

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