Spring and summer come together in the skillet

  • By Joe Gray Chicago Tribune
  • Thursday, April 24, 2014 3:13pm
  • Life

Oregano and peas seem like a bad match. The musty, pungent herb and the fresh, bright legume would seem to fight. Maybe this hunch stems as well from their divergent seasons, the spring of the peas, the summer of oregano.

But when concocting a chicken and peas dish for dinner recently, I had no fresh herbs in the house except slightly wilting oregano left over from some now-forgotten recipe. I wanted that extra element an aromatic herb would provide, so I said to heck with it, chopped a bunch of the leaves finely and threw them in. The combo was a revelation. Oregano does go with peas, and brings together the chicken, mushrooms and onions nicely.

I would recommend that using fresh oregano is vital here, but maybe I would be wrong about that too.

Skillet chicken with onions, peas, mushrooms

2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more if needed

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon salt, about

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

Freshly ground pepper

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup peas, frozen or fresh

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, seasoning them with a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, seasoning with a pinch of salt; turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook until mushrooms are browned and have given up their liquid, 5 minutes.

Transfer the onions and mushrooms to a bowl. Add another tablespoon oil to the skillet if needed to cook the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; place in the skillet, skin side down. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 12 minutes total.

Pour in the wine; turn the heat to low. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Return the onions and mushrooms to the skillet; add the peas and oregano. Stir to coat the vegetables with the pan juices. Cook until heated through. Taste for seasonings.

Makes: 2 servings

Nutrition information per serving: 579 calories, 34 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 180 mg cholesterol, 34 g carbohydrates, 36 g protein, 996 mg sodium, 7 g fiber

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