Seared Chicken and Autumn Vegetables

This dish is bursting with the savory-sweet flavors of autumn. We’re searing chicken thighs and sautéing creamy purple top turnip and tender cabbage. Then we’re finishing them in a light pan sauce—or “jus”—made with dried figs, sharp whole grain mustard, thyme and tart apple cider. The key to beautifully crisp chicken is drying your chicken thoroughly, using a hot pan and letting the skin get browned and crispy before flipping. This way, all of the incredibly flavorful fond (the browned bits) left behind can be used to coat the vegetables and make the delicious pan sauce.  This recipe really takes advantage of the ingredients and with patience, comes out perfect every time. It’s one of those frustrating recipes that until you add the cider, mustard and figs, you don’t realize what an amazing plate of food you have in front of you. 🙂 I hope you like this one as much as I do.

  • 2 Boneless, Skin-On Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Purple Top Turnip
  • 3 thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/2 Cone Cabbage
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1 Bunch Thyme
  • 3 Tablespoons Chicken Demi-Glace
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Ounce Dried Figs
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Grain Djion Mustard
  • ¼ Cup Apple Cider
  • 1/2 cup Craisins
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts, diced
  1. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and medium dice the turnip. Peel and medium dice the onion. Remove and discard the outer leaves of the cabbage; halve, core and medium dice. Pick the thyme leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Small dice the figs.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin sides down. Cook 6 to 8 minutes on the first side, or until the skin is browned and crispy. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the turnip and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned and slightly tender.
  4. Add the onion, cabbage and all but a big pinch of the thyme to the pan of turnip; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cabbage is slightly wilted.
  5. To the pan of vegetables, add the figs, mustard, demi-glace, apple cider, ⅓ cup of water and cooked chicken (along with any juices from the plate); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Add the butter and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat.
  6. Divide the finished vegetables and chicken between 2 dishes. Garnish with the craisins, walmuts, and remaining thyme.