Saturday, April 9, 2011

Organic Free-Range Chicken & Yukon Gold with Mushroom Sauté

Welcome to Casual Saturday Lunch

 “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.”  It is fantastic when you walk into ‘Whole Paycheck’ with an idea for one meal but the quality of the fresh produce inspires you to move in a completely different direction.  Here’s what stimulated me today…

Organic free-range chicken: Antibiotic free, hormone free, no pesticides or herbicides used in the soil or feed.  Free-range allows for a stress free chicken, not a tormented factory mass produced bird.  Plus, it is still an inexpensive protein.  In the LC household it is the only way to go and a no-brainer.  Here I serve both the whole leg boned and the chicken breast.  I learned the perfect way to cook a chicken leg from Gordon Ramsay.  Follow this method and it will come out perfect each time.

Yukon Gold Potatoes: The universe’s gift to mankind; by far the best potato on earth. Much to my delight, my local Whole Foods is now carrying Yukon golds produced by a small organic Florida farm.  Yukon golds, local and organic?  Win, win, win.

Organic Shiitake & Cremini Mushrooms:  Mushrooms and Yukon golds are a perfect match.  Good earthy rich flavorful tones.  Cremini mushrooms also have the added benefits of proving immune boosting benefits and helping with heart disease protection.  So eat more cremini mushrooms.

Leeks: Um, Lazaro using leeks, of course.  Leeks make me smile.

Duck fat: The nectar of the God’s.  If you have yet to use duck fat do yourself the favor.  Perfect for both sautéing and frying.  Readily available online, add some serious flavor to your dishes.

White Truffle Oil:  Lets be real here, no truffles in this stuff; way too expensive.  In actuality it is olive oil that has a certain chemical agent added to give the essence of white truffles.  Daniel Patterson wrote a marvelous piece on the myth of truffle oil for the New York Times..  With that said, I still use it; it does add a different flavor.

Rosemary Garlic Blend: Spice islands, proveyor of fine dried spices, carries an awesome Rosemary Garlic Blend.  It even comes in a quite convenient grinder bottle.

Yukon Golds, Shiitake & Cremini Mushrooms, Leeks, Shallots, Fresh Thyme, White Truffle Oil

 Oven-Roasted Organic Free-Range Chicken Leg

Fried Organic Free-Range Chicken Breast

For the Chicken Leg:
2 organic free-range chicken legs - boned
White truffle oil
Smoked paprika
Sea salt
Black pepper

Once the chicken leg is boned, if done properly, you are left with a perfect flat piece of meat.  Give the meat a once-over with your fingers to make sure no bone fragments are left in the meat.  If you do not feel comfortable boning chicken, just ask your butcher to do it.

On a plate, rub both sides of the chicken with the truffle oil.  Season both sides with smoked paprika, salt, pepper.  Preheat the oven to 390 F.

Lay the chicken skin-side down on a cold frying pan.  NO OIL.  There is enough on the chicken.  Put the pan over medium heat.  The skin on the chicken will gradually crisp and render as the pan slowly heats.  There is no timetable here.  You must check the skin periodically, when nicely brown and rendered, baste the top of the meat and transfer to the oven.  Cook for 9 minutes.  Prepare a wire rack over a plate for cooling.

Remove the chicken from the oven.  Allow to cool on wire rack skin-side up.  Skin should be crispy and meat inside moist.

For the Yukon Gold & Mushroom Sauté:
3 tbs duck fat
Yukon gold potatoes - scrubbed, cleaned and small dice
Shiitake mushrooms - sliced
Cremini mushrooms - sliced
1 leek (white & light green parts only) - cut into 1/4 in rounds
2 shallots - mined
sea salt
black pepper
rosemary garlic blend
fresh thyme

In a sauté pan, melt the duck fat over medium heat.  Add the Yukon gold potatoes.  Season with sea salt and black pepper.  Cook until golden brown.  Add the mushrooms, leeks, shallots.  Season with sea salt, black pepper, and rosemary garlic blend.  Cook until mushrooms are soft and mixture is well incorporated.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme.

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. MMM you have it pinned right down, Yukon Golds are a gift from the Gods.....i recentlt discovered them in the past couple of years and they are so readily available any time of year.
    I very much like this dish , as you have tranformed a blaa chicken leg into a work of art.

  2. I laughed when I read 'Whole Paycheck', man you got that right! Hubby went recently and discovered his full basket was going to cost us...this dish Lazaro looks so good. We love Yukon's and are having this tonight with duck and ribeye...I know I go way over don't I, and have a hard time taming my kitchen habits...

  3. Fried or oven roasted- I'll take both! Great back ground on ingredients! Also love the links I want some duck and/or goose fat in my cabinets!

    The commissary finally stocks organic-free range chicken. It sells like hotcakes- expensive, too! Will def buy the whole bird!

  4. I would not mind joining you for this "casual Sunday brunch". Enjoyed thsi post very much...the poet that you are...

  5. The name "casual Saturday brunch" is right up my alley. Brunch meals make so much sense to my style of entertaining.

    And you are so, so correct - duck fat is truly nectar of the gods. I'm off to look around your blog. I've been busy and haven't had time to visit my friends for a while to see what's cooking. Have a great weekend my friend.

  6. I would eat this any day. Such a pleasure to meet you. I didn't know that about truffle oil, I haven't used it too much, but wouldn't want to if I'd of known that. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

  7. As they say, this is finger lickin good chicken just lookin at it... gorgeous and presented to excellance.... thanks for sharing! as always your elegance!

  8. Gorgeous, Lazaro. YOu know how I feel about organic. I am pleased that WF gives you numbered birds from 2 to 5 now... 5 is the most organic and humane but it's good to be able to chose. I can't promise but I read about a real white truffle oil from Oregon... I still have 2 bottles of 'the other' around (why does everyone bring me truffle oil presents??) so I haven't ordered it yet but mean to. That phony taste is really horrible in some not bad in others. The duck fat and mushrooms potatoes must take this over the top, Laz... great Sunday recipe.

  9. It's even better when you have a Whole Foods a/k/a "Whole paycheck" to visit. I don't complain to loudly, as there are local farmers where I can reach out too, to get some fabulous local meats and other artisan goods.

    Your meal looks wonderful. Cheers.


  10. Always beautiful! I love how you layer flavors...
    I am with you on the truffle oil, if it is a good quality with truffle essence, can still impart such wonderful flavor.

  11. That's an awesome lunch, Laz! Your descriptions of all the ingredients make me smile, loving the duck fat and the truffle oil and the potato -mushroom combo is my all-time fav. This would be so perfect with the Cabernet i had just now!

  12. Whaaaa?? White truffle aroma is a chemical??? Oy- I feel cheated! That said, I'll finish my bottle and probably buy another.. This is a delightful recipe, and since I have all the ingredients including chicken on hand- I'll be giving this preparation of meat a try later in the week. I haven't had Yukons in awhile, and will look for them the next time I get to WP...Enjoy your week!

  13. It all sounds perfect. Thanks for the run down of ingredients. I always like finding out more about the ingredients we use or could be using. I love how crispy good the chicken looks! Yum!

  14. Always the best over here at Lazaro Cooks! Looks and sounds divine. Must agree with you on the duck fat, adds amazing flavor to a dish. Another lovely recipe, Lazaro.

  15. Saw your comment on Gina's recent blog post and decided I HAD to come check your blog out...LOVE it! I'm your newest follower. Anyone who walks into the store and comes out with the makings of an entirely different meal is aces in my book. This chicken and potatoes looks so good...a great combo of flavors and textures.

  16. Hi Lazaro - really like the idea to use a boned chicken leg, makes a fabulous presentation. Love the earthy flavors in your dish too.

  17. So glad you found my blog, because now I found yours! This looks delicious. I usually fond chicken boring, but this is far from boring! I love that you deboned the chicken leg! I like dark meat because it so much juicier and more flavorful.

  18. Mmm, those dishes have the signature layered Lazaro touch. Nothing like getting inspired by some fabulous ingredients! But Laz using chicken breast?? Never!! ;) I love a good shiitake myself - don't kind too many good ones around here. I think I told you Peter has a couple tubs of duck fat in our fridge (and one of goose fat?). Yeah, well, still there. I think I'll have to break it out for summa dat mushroom saute :D

  19. I am so glad you found my blog as well! I love yours and am a new follower. Looking forward to sharing!

  20. Lazaro, it's always fun to see what u've come up with. I love the way u played with your ingredients.... I can smell the aroma of truffle oil from here :)

  21. Love the flavours you so boldly chomp your way through. I am so impressed by this dish. This dish would go perfectly with a glass of Pinot... Oh yeah, I can totally taste this dish now. :)


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