Editor's note: Each Saturday afternoon we bring you a Sunday Supper recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow.
I've never understood why people go gaga for chicken breasts. In my mind, they're pretty blah. I mean, sure, you can make the best of them, but why choose breasts when juicier, more flavorful thighs fare better time and time again, especially when you pair them with big, bold flavors? Which is exactly what we do with this dish—chicken is slathered in a wild mushroom and crème fraîche mixture and roasted in a garlicky wine and vinegar sauce alongside olive-stippled fingerling potatoes. The end result is nothing short of luxurious.
Frankly, chicken thighs are pretty forgiving, which is to say they're hard to screw up. I opted for boneless ones because they leave a natural cavity in which to add your stuffing. If all you have is bone-in thighs, you can bone them yourself using this guide. As for choosing skin-on versus skinless, I find skinless chicken is easier to roll—that skin gets slippery. You lose crisp skin and the insulating effects of cooking with skin-on, but it's a trade-off I'm willing to make for convenience's sake. (If you want to go the skin-on route, though, by all means do! Just make sure you first sear your meat skin-side down.)
Wild mushrooms improve in flavor with some cooking to drive off their excess moisture. I cook mine in olive oil, seasoned with just a bit of salt and pepper, then add richness and tang with some creme fraîche. The whole mixture gets rolled into the chicken thighs and secured with a bit of twine.
I roast the potatoes in a mixture of olive oil and vinegar, which helps flavor them deeply, but there's a little issue: Vinegar can prevent the breakdown of pectin, which mean that potatoes cooked in vinegar take far longer to roast. The solution is pretty simple though; just throw the potatoes in the oven while you make the mushroom mixture and stuff the chicken. They take about 40 minutes of cooking on their own to soften to the point where they can finish alongside the thighs.
Once the potatoes are par-cooked and the chicken stuffed, I sear the chicken in a large skillet, then push it off to the side and add the potatoes along with red peppers, garlic, olives, wine, and thyme. It goes back into the oven for a happy commingling of flavors. A final swirl of butter and dash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice seals the deal.
It looks great coming right out of the oven, but you'll want to wait about 10 minutes for the chicken to rest before diving in. If you can wait that long, that is.
About the author: Jennifer Olvera is a veteran food and travel writer and author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago." Follow her on Twitter @olverajennifer.