Chardonnay Braised Chicken Thighs with Parsnips

Last night, we had some friends over for dinner. They are redoing their kitchen. You know the scenario – the contractor says it will be 3 months, which means 6 to 8! Anyway, I made this chicken dish, which was so easy and everyone seems to like it. I found it in Food & Wine magazine.

I have said this many times, but he parsnip is under utilized in this country! The parsnip is a root vegetable related to the carrot. Parsnips resemble carrots, but are paler in color than most carrots, and have a sweeter taste, especially when cooked.

A scary parsnip fact – While the root of the parsnip is edible, the handling of its shoots and leaves requires protective clothing! Parsnips contains furanocoumarin, a photosensitive chemical that causes a condition known as phytophotodermatitis.The condition is a type of chemical burn rather than an allergic reaction and should be treated as such. When gardening parsnips, gloves and long sleeves are advised. If bare skin does come into contact with the upper part of a parsnip plant, the area should be washed immediately and kept out of sunlight. A cool, indoor area is best as a retreat, as sweat can aid in the absorption of the toxin, and sunlight activates its deleterious effects. Should a rash appear, the area may be treated similar to a burn and a physician or pharmacist ought to be consulted.

I’m sure you are now wondering why I love parsnips, but they are delicious! Note to self – do NOT grow them on your own….


Chardonnay Braised Chicken Thighs with Parsnips

Serves 4-6

2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
8 medium chicken thighs (about 2 3/4 lbs)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 small shallots, peeled and quartered
1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 3-by- 1/2-inch batons
1 rosemary sprig (about 6 inches)
1 cup California Chardonnay or other dry white wine
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large, deep ovenproof skillet, melt the butter in the oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust with the flour, tapping off the excess. Add the chicken to the skillet skin side down and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned, 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the shallots, parsnips and rosemary to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Nestle the chicken skin side up in the skillet, tucking it between the parsnips. Transfer the skillet to the middle rack of the oven and braise the chicken uncovered for about 25 minutes, until cooked through.

Turn the broiler on. Broil the chicken for 3 minutes, until the skin is crisp. Return the skillet to high heat and boil until the sauce is thickened, 3 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprig. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to bowls, garnish with parsley; serve.


2 thoughts on “Chardonnay Braised Chicken Thighs with Parsnips

  1. The chicken looks divine. (And I have all of those ingredients, so we might just be eating it tonight!) — As for kitchen overhauls … We cannot blame the contractor. The job got underway one year ago this month and we’ve changed our minds no fewer than 12 times about each facet. Most recently, it was a relocation of the pot-filler, which required tearing out part of a (new) wall, some plumbing and reconstruction of said wall. It will never end. And it’s all our fault.

    On second thought, may we come to your house for dinner tonight?

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