The other day I was watching one of my favorite YouTube cooks, J. Kenji-Lopez Alt, and he was making a one pot chicken dish with carrots, cabbage, and other stuff. It looked fantastic and was a perfect meal for dinner for the family that night.
I made some changes since not everyone in our home likes cabbage, so I came up with substitutes that I figured would work.
First, I had to sear the chicken. This dish works great with thighs with the skin. I suspect legs would work also, but I had thighs and breasts to make do.
The thighs seared easily, but the breast being on the larger side, didn't fit flat in the pan, so I had to adjust as they were searing.
After getting both the thighs and breasts seared, it was time to think of what to add to this dish.
The bottom of the pan had some great fond, the bits of chicken skin and meat at the bottom of the pan, and I knew I needed to be that into the dish, just like Kenji did in his video.
The only difference was I didn't have cabbage, so I used carrots and celery to start.
I added one can of chicken stock to start and then threw in the carrots and celery and scraped the bottom of the pan to get all of those great-tasting bits mixed with the veggies.
As I stirred the veggies around and began to get soft, I added garlic.
You never want to add garlic too early since garlic cooks fast and would have browned if I had added it too soon.
Once the garlic became aromatic, I added some tomato paste and stirred it until it mixed in with the veggies and chicken stock.
I had a great sauce going now, and it was time to add more chicken stock to the mix and figure out one last veggie to add.
The point of this dish is that once you get the veggies ready, you add the chicken that you seared to the pan.
You want to place the chicken gently on top of the veggies, so the skin stays crispy. You went through all of that work to get the skin crispy; you don't want the juice below to take that away from the dish. That crispness is what makes this dish special.
Once you get the chicken settled on top of the veggies, you then place it in a 400-degree oven and let it cook till done.
I decided to add peas as the last veggie. It's something I thought would work; in the end, they weren't the right ones to use. They soaked up the juice in the dish while we were waiting for everyone to come to the table.
Oops forgot I added potatoes also to make sure we had enough veggies for everyone.
I didn't have a pan big enough for the amount of chicken and veggies I cooked that night, so I used my lasagna dish, which was big enough to fit everything in one shot.
It wasn't a pan like Kenji used, but that dish worked well for what I wanted.
As I said, the one good was using peas in the dish. They soaked up all the juice in the dish, but boy, did they have great flavor.
The dish came out as good as I could get, and everyone who ate dinner that night was happy with their food.
I love when an experiment comes out good, and everyone enjoys their dinner.
Here's a little rundown on ingredients.
Peas-in place of cabbage
Chicken Stock-2 cans
Salt/Pepper to taste
Avacado Oil-for searing the chicken
Chicken Thighs, Legs, or Breasts