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Braised Chicken Thighs with Dried Morels
Serves 6

The chicken thighs are not fussed with much: the ingredients are added and then allowed to cook unmolested. It is okay to use skinless thighs, but thighs with the skin on will produce a more succulent dish, and the skin crisps nicely.

12 chicken thighs
1 1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup pancetta, chopped into quarter or half inch cubes
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1 small hot pepper
3 1/2 ounces dried morels, soaked in warm water until soft and drained, about 10 minutes

Place the thighs in a large well-seasoned cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. (You can use a non-stick pan, but the skin of the chicken won’t brown as well.) Scatter all of the ingredients except for the morels over the chicken. Cover and cook over a medium-to-medium low heat for 1/2 hour, until the chicken is mostly cooked through (the meat will be white and moist when probed with a fork). Do not be tempted to turn over the thighs until the skin separates easily from the pan.

Add the soaked morels and continue cooking for 15 minutes. The sauce will be golden at its peak. Overcooking will cook off the sauce and leave oil, which is very tasty, but can be resuscitated by adding a bit more stock, white wine, or water. Likewise, if the pan gets dry before the chicken is cooked through, add a bit of white wine, water, or chicken stock


Serve immediately, or at room temperature.