I love scallions (aka green onions) and often use them in dishes that I prepare. They rarely have a starring role though, and are typically used as a garnish or seasoning like you would minced parsley or chives. I recently came upon this recipe for Braised Chicken with Scallion Puree in Saveur Magazine. It caught my eye and seemed like a fun springtime recipe. And, it allowed me to address an important question: Is there such a thing as too many scallions?
This recipe calls for a chicken in four pieces. I could have bought it that way, but I was lost in thought at the store and bought a whole chicken. I don’t have a boning knife for such tasks, and instead use my Joyce Chen scissors. They are amazing and can cut through anything. I was introduced to these scissors in a jewelry design class where we used them to cut through silver sheets and wire.
Once the chicken was ready and the scallions were chopped, the rest went pretty quickly. I browned the chicken over high heat, removed the chicken from the pan and began to build the braising liquid. This foundation included 2/3rds of the scallions, white wine and chicken stock. After that was good and hot, I added the chicken back to the pot along with two peeled and quartered potatoes and simmered mostly covered for nearly an hour. Tip – use a meat thermometer. It is easy to overcook chicken and it gets tough. Also – you can just as easily undercook chicken which is equally unpleasant. I took the chicken out when the thickest part reached 160.
Once the chicken was cooked through, I strained the braising liquid to separate the chicken (set aside), the potatoes & scallions, and the liquid. I mashed the potatoes and scallions with some heavy cream and salt. Next, I reduced the braising liquid until it thickened slightly, and added the remaining scallions. Once that was done, it was time to assemble the dish. Potatoes on the bottom, chicken next, followed by the sauce.
I think that this dish would pair wonderfully with a crisp, unoaked chardonnay, however, I was in the mood for a red wine. I selected a medium bodied Rhone style blend from Arrowood. This winery is in the Kenwood area of Sonoma and is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. In addition to some great wines, the view from the tasting room is gorgeous. This particular wine, the Cote de Lune Rouge, was a blend of equal parts grenache, syrah and mourvedre. It was earthy, a little spicy and very dry. It went very nicely with this dish.