When you think of rhubarb, typically strawberries and dessert come to mind. But rhubarb is actually a vegetable, and deserves a role in savory applications as well. This braised chicken dish is sweet with a touch of honey, but it’s mostly sour thanks to rhubarb’s distinctive tart flavour. Adding the rhubarb toward the end of the cooking time keeps its flavour and texture intact. I served this with wild rice and steamed greens.
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 1 medium)
1 pound rhubarb, medium dice
1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place half of the chicken thighs in the pot, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook the second side until golden brown, about 4 minutes more. Transfer the thighs to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot. Add the shallots, ginger, and cardamom, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the shallots soften, about 2 minutes. Pour in the sherry, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits, and reduce the liquid by half, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock, honey, and orange juice and stir to combine. Return the chicken pieces and any accumulated juices to the pot, turn the chicken to coat, and bring the mixture to a boil (the chicken pieces should be skin side up).
4. Place the pot in the oven and cook until the sauce is vigorously bubbling around the sides and the chicken, when cut with a knife, is no longer pink, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven, scatter the rhubarb pieces between and around the chicken, and return the pot to the oven until the rhubarb is knife tender, about 15 minutes more.
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