Since we launched the J.Q. Dickinson Appalachian Mercantile in October we have been collecting a variety of products from the region for our shop. It has been amazing to develop relationships with the growers and producers and learn about their techniques. This recipe uses 4 products made from eastern Ohio to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Shagbark Mill near Athens, OH is a co-op of farmers who grow heirloom grains. Their polenta is made with Wapsie corn. The mushrooms are grown here in WV on reclaimed mine land by Hernshaw Farms. The mushroom “blocks” are used for compost to create farmland after the mushrooms are harvested. Daniel Liberson of Lindera Farms makes incredible vinegars and sauces from foraged and organically grown produce. His applewood soy sauce is used in this recipe and adds a flavor like no other. Our own applewood smoked salt is used to finish the dish, adding a touch of smokiness and a delicate crunchy texture. Creating dishes from local ingredients has been great fun. I hope you enjoy this dish. It’s perfect for a cold winter night.
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Wild Mushrooms and Polenta
1 cup Shagbark Mill Wapsie Polenta
3 cups water
½ tsp salt
8 bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup, plus ¼ cup, full bodied red wine
½ package (1.5 oz) Hernshaw Farms dried wild mushrooms
2 Tbs butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbs Lindera Farms Soy Sauce
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
J.Q. Dickinson Smoked Salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium saucepan bring the 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the polenta in a thin stream while whisking. Add ½ tsp salt. Turn down to medium and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir regularly with a whisk, or the spurtle so it doesn’t clump or stick. Add one TBS butter and stir to incorporate just before serving.
Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil. Place the chicken thighs in the pan skin side down. Cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Turn the chicken over and place the pan in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat the chicken broth and ½ cup red wine til boiling. Add the wild mushrooms, breaking apart any large pieces. Simmer, covered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let sit for 15 minutes. Drain, saving the liquid.
Remove the chicken from the cast iron skillet to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Pour off the excess fat from the pan. Place the skillet on a medium heat burner. Add the remaining ¼ cup of red wine. Scrape the bottom and sides of pan. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the flour, stir, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the mushroom liquid and stir to incorporate. Cook, reducing liquid by 1/3. Add the rosemary, thyme and soy sauce. Stir. Pull off the heat. Add one Tbs butter and stir to incorporate. Add the reserved mushrooms into the sauce.
To plate, place a spoonful of polenta in the center of each plate. Arrange the chicken on one side. Pour the sauce over the polenta and chicken. Sprinkle each plate with a pinch of smoked salt.