My GOODNESS I’ve been away for a while. May was a whirlwind month, which culminated in one of the most exciting days of my life: my sister’s wedding. So much love and laughter this weekend that I’m still in a total state of euphoria, dampened slightly by the fact that it’s all over and I have to go back to the real world.
You know what makes the real world better? An insanely delicious dinner that takes 40 minutes to make. My wedding meal was a chicken-and-mushroom dish that I was too busy dancing to eat. (It looked good at least!) It was a little upsetting since I love mushrooms, so I knew immediately what I wanted to cook when I got back from my weekend of fun. (I’ve been in a weird cooking funk recently, no doubt brought on by the fact that I’ve been incredibly busy and have had very little time to shop or cook, so anytime I know exactly what I want to make, I get really excited.)
While most chicken-and-mushroom dishes involve some sort of cream sauce, I wanted something a bit lighter. I immediately thought of the tapas place around the corner from my apartment that serves the most amazing sauteed mushrooms in a spicy, lemony, garlicky sauce. I’ve been dying to make that at home for a while, and what better bed for those mushrooms than crisp-skinned perfect roast chicken. Since this was a weeknight, I browned and roasted whole chicken legs, meaning that dinner was served less than 40 minutes from when I started.
Since bae is now paleo, I served the roast chicken and mushrooms on a bed of quick-sauteed kale, and it was everything I wanted dinner to be: bright, fresh, flavorful. Sometimes, after an amazing weekend, you just need something delicious and comforting, and trust me — this is definitely a winner, winner chicken dinner situation.
- 4 bone-in, skin-on whole chicken legs (or 8 chicken thighs)
- kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Pat the chicken legs down with a paper towel, then season liberally with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 450F.
- In a cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on medium-high heat. Place two of the chicken legs skin-side down and brown for 5 minutes, until the skin is golden-brown. Then flip and brown for an additional 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and then brown the remaining two legs. (Take your time with this step, as a good bronze skin means lots of flavor.) Turn off the heat.
- Nestle the four legs in the cast-iron skillet, then carefully transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast the chicken for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Remove the chicken from the skillet and transfer to a serving dish.
- Place the skillet back on the stove on medium heat. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds, until the garlic begins to sizzle.
- Add the mushrooms and increase the heat to medium-high. Saute the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they have released some of their juices and browned slightly. Season with salt, then add the white wine. Lower the heat back to medium, add the thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are cooked through. Stir in lemon juice and freshly cracked black pepper, then scatter the mushrooms and their sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately, with a side of baguette for catching all of that delicious lemony-mushroomy-chickeny sauce.