This is another weeknight one-pot chicken dinner. I loved the colorful and fresh topping- I would add even more next time! This dish also incorporated farro which is one of my absolute favorites. It could appropriately be served any time of year.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used sherry vinegar in the topping and modified the proportions and method. Great.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6) or use whole legs
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large or 3 medium leeks
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 to 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon fennel or coriander seeds, cracked with a mortar and pestle or the side of a chef’s knife
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, cracked with a mortar and pestle or the side of a chef’s knife
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cups pearled or semi-pearled farro (I used Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro)
- 1+ cup quartered or halved cherry or grape tomatoes or diced tomato
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
- fresh lime or lemon juice, or vinegar, to taste, such as cider vinegar or sherry vinegar (I used 1-2 T sherry vinegar)
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Season all over with salt and pepper, and set aside while preparing the leeks.
- Trim roots from leeks, then cut away any wilted, yellowing or browned parts from the greens. Slice leeks in half lengthwise. Wash well under cold running water to remove any soil, then shake dry. (I soak them in a bowl of water.)
- Thinly slice the leeks (including the greens) into half-moons. You should have about 6 cups. Measure out about 2 tablespoons of sliced leek whites and set them aside for garnish.
- In a large skillet with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. (I used a wide and low enameled cast iron skillet.)
- When the oil thins and coats the bottom of the pan, add half the chicken and cook until browned on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes on the first side ad 3 to 5 minutes on the second side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Stir in the leeks and a pinch of salt. Sauté until tender and golden brown, 9 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in crushed spices, thyme sprigs and tomato paste, and cook until tomato paste darkens and caramelizes, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour in chicken stock and bring to a simmer, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in farro and 1 teaspoon salt. When the liquid comes to a simmer, nestle in the browned chicken, skin-side up; pour in any juices from the plate. Cover pan and let cook until the farro is tender and the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss together the reserved leek whites, chopped tomatoes and parsley. Season to taste with salt, pepper and an acid like lemon or lime juice or vinegar. (I used sherry vinegar.) The mixture should taste tangy and bright.
- Discard the thyme sprigs, and serve chicken and farro topped with the tomato mixture.