Leaf celery is one of my favorite fresh herbs. It’s pungent aroma and flavor makes it a perfect seasoning for mild meats like chicken. The type of leaf celery I grow here on the farm are Zwolsh Krul and Tender Crisp. Of the two I find that the Zwolsh Krul is the more tender and flavorful.

Ingredients –

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 cups coarsley chopped leaf celery with stems
  • Salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Dried Italian herbs (I use McCormic brand)
  • Granulated garlic
  • Powdered onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method –

  • Debone the thighs but don’t remove the skin.
  • In a large pan, add 4 T of the olive oil and heat on medium high. Whent he oil is hot and just starting to smoke, place the chicken thighs skin up in the pan and sprinkle with the garlick, onion, salt, pepper and dry herbs.
  • When the chicken has browned on the meat side, turn and season as before, but also sprinkle the leaf celery liberally over the pieces. Continute to cook untill the skin is browned.
  • Remove the chicken pieces, meat and celery side down, to a rimmed baking sheet or a baking pan large enough to hold the pieces without them touching each other. Place on the middle rack of an oven and set the oven at 300°F. Allow to bake for 15-20 minutes.

Variations on the theme –

  • Powdered ginger adds a nice additional flavor. Just dust on each side as you cook.
  • Fresh sage added to this recipe when you put the leaf celery on the chicken is very nice also. Don’t use too much though. I use 15 – 20 leaves finely chopped.
  • If you cook very fatty chicken, be sure to reserve the chicken fat that renders. This makes for an excellent oil to saute greens (mustard, turnip greens, radish greens, mustard greens, etc.). In fact, sauteed greens (in the reserved chicken fat of course) make an excellent accompaniment to the chicken. They’re even great tossed with some rice.
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