This is a dish we love to make for its gorgeous look and amazing flavors. We use olive oil, Porcini mushrooms or cremini mushrooms, Giant Beans from Greece for their incredibly dense creamy flavors, red, yellow and orange bell peppers, Cara Cara oranges for their unique flavor, Spanish chorizo with its smoky paprika flavor, and we sometimes use Cajun Andouille sausage for it’s immense smokiness and depth of Cajun flavors.
We also caramelize red onions for a surprising and unique sweetness and use 24 whole garlic cloves scattered throughout that also caramelize. Because the skillet is deep, we can use savory orange juice that combines with the duck fat and olive oil and becomes an intense umami sauce that the small Yukon baby potatoes simmer in at the bottom.
Added to all this are the herbs of Provence from our garden. This feast is not just beautiful to look at but intensely umami and fabulously flavored.
6 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on (we use air chilled, free range)
2 Cara Cara or Navel oranges, each sliced into six long sections
2 cups orange juice, as fresh as possible
3 bell peppers, each sliced into six to eight long section (we use red, orange and yellow for their beauty)
1 large red onion
24 whole garlic cloves
1/2 pound Spanish chorizo, cut into coins
1/2 pound sausage, sliced into thick coins (we use Cajun andouille or smoked Italian sausage)
1/2 pound Gigantes beans from Greece, fully cooked but still slightly crunchy (Corona or large butter beans work well)
1 pound small Yukon gold potatoes, used whole or cut in half if not small enough
1/2 pound Porcini mushrooms, fresh or rehydrated (Cremini, King Oyster or Shitake work as well)
1 tablespoon Porcini powder (optional but wonderful)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons duck fat or more olive oil
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1 cup loosely packed herbs of Provence (thyme, rosemary and lavender)
Using a large 12 to 14 inch cast iron pan, add the olive oil and heat till shimmering. Gently pan fry the sausages and the Spanish chorizo until they are just barely seared. Remove and set aside, leaving the smoky paprika infused oils.
Into this beautiful aromatic oil add duck fat or more olive oil, allow to heat and marry with the infused oils and then sear both sides of the chicken thighs until about 2/3 fully cooked. Remove and set aside.
In the same cast iron pan, add the red onion and the mushrooms and sear until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have released their liquids and are seared. Now sprinkle the porcini powder over the mushrooms.
Add back the chicken, sausages and chorizo.
Now add the potatoes, large beans, bell peppers, orange slices, herbs of Provence and nestle the garlic cloves all around. Sprinkle on the paprika and pour the orange juice over everything.
Bake at 350 degrees for at about 45 minutes to an hour, until the chicken is falling off the bone.
Finally place the cast iron pan under the broiler for a couple minutes to give the chicken and the orange slices a lovely toasty sear.
Serve with crusty bread to soak up all the umami goodness. Enjoy!