Last Saturday, I could not resist getting a just-picked fennel bulb from Farmer Dave and some lovely big green onions from Flats Mentor Farm. And, the week before, I had picked up a pack of two big chicken leg quarters from John Crow Farm and had finally remembered to defrost them. (Their meats/poultry come frozen, as do most meats and poultry offered by farmers at farmers markets, at least in the Boston area.)
I also had some potatoes on hand (organically grown but sadly, not local) and decided to create a meal based on a combination of of a sausage/fennel dish that Steve and I really enjoy and one of our favorite chicken quarter recipes.
This was a really easy meal to prepare. All I did was peel (optional) and chunk a few potatoes, trim and thick-slice the fennel bulb, and trim the stems and ends from the green onions, then season them with chopped fresh rosemary (dried is fine, too) kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and lightly toss, all right in the roasting pan.
Next, I prepared a variation of the paste/rub from my other chicken quarter recipe, combining a minced garlic clove, chopped rosemary, kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and a touch of cumin. Onto the chicken it went (this is a hands-on operation!) as I nestled the chicken into the veggies. Oh, I also added a bit over a 1/2 cup of chicken stock before putting into an oven preheated to 425 degrees.
50 minutes later it was perfect, although I did opt to remove the chicken quarters to a small tray and pop them under the broiler for just a few minutes to further crisp up the skin. I also drained out the remaining liquid into a small saucepan and added some cornstarch to thicken just a bit before adding back to the veggies, but, while it added a smoothness, it is not necessary to the success of the recipe. Neither is the extra browning, for that matter, but to each his or her own taste or time available.
This was a really delightful meal, made all the better by the chicken having being raised right here in Massachusetts on a farm that raises its animals in a responsible and healthy manner.
It was so good that Steve and I dug right in before I remembered to take a picture of it plated for this blog. In fact, I did not remember until the next morning, but you can get the picture (forgive the pun) from this lovely re-creation:
And, that’s it for now.