Rhubarb…chicken?

I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with rhubarb. It’s kind of one of those things where you think to yourself, “Well, I should have used it by now…I’m pretty sure I’ve used it.” But, no, I’m almost 100% sure I’ve never cooked with it. Kind of like how I THINK I’ve been to Lake Chelan, I THINK I’ve seen Reservoir Dogs, I THINK I’ve done a cartwheel before. However, those are all products of wishful thinking. I’ve never done any of those things. It just seems like I should have done them by now.

You would think my first encounter with rhubarb would be of the sweet variety. To be honest, I thought that was the only variety there was. But then I found this recipe, and it had a ton of great reviews. So, Jon and I headed to the grocery store to get the few things we didn’t already have to make this recipe. When we got to the produce section I said to Jon, “Will you grab a pound of rhubarb?” While I was looking for an orange that looked up to par, I glanced over to Jon who was for some reason weighing out a rutabaga. Apparently he had never cooked with rhubarb before either…

Here’s what you’ll need:
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 1 medium)
1 pound rhubarb stalks, medium dice

Preheat your oven to 375 F.
Rinse off your chicken thighs and pat them dry with a few paper towels. Season them generously with salt and pepper.
Put a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Once shimmering add half of the chicken thighs, skin down. Leave them alone for about 5 minutes so that the skin gets nice and crispy. Flip ’em over and brown on the other side.

Once nicely browned, transfer to a clean plate and set aside. Do the same thing with the other half of the chicken.

Reduce the heat to medium and discard half of the oil in the pan. Throw in the shallots, ginger and cardamom, season with salt and pepper, and sautee for about 2 minutes.

Add the cooking sherry and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen up those tasty little brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Reduce the liquid by half, cooking for about 5 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, honey and orange juice and give it a good stir.

(Hint: spray your measuring cup with some cooking spray before measuring honey. It’ll make it easier to pour out.) Transfer chicken back to the pot, skin side up, and bring liquid up to a boil.

Pop the whole thing in the oven, uncovered, and cook for 35 minutes. After the first 35 minutes, remove pot from oven and scatter the rhubarb chunks around the chicken. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.

This was a crowd pleaser, for sure. And by “crowd” I, of course, mean “Jon and I”. I’m pretty sure we still have left overs in the fridge, and I made this last week. We ate the chicken with brown rice and sauteed kale.

I poured the sauce from the chicken over everything on my plate. It was really easy to make and it was kind of exciting to try rhubarb in such an interesting way.

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