At Thanksgiving, I typically begin my turkey by stuffing sage butter under its skin, and then leaving it uncovered in the fridge overnight. So when this contest came up, I thought, "why not with chicken?" I like the thigh, but a breast would work as well. I have also been eating a lot of endive this winter, so I decided to pair the chicken with an endive salad. Chicken and salad.. that's healthy, right? —Cristina Sciarra
The night before, mix softened butter with chopped sage and rub it underneath the chicken skin. Sprinkle both chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and then move the chicken thighs to the fridge, uncovered. (If you don't have time for overnight, do this a few hours ahead).
Toast your walnuts: On a parchment-paper lined baking sheet at 350F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. (This can be done the night before, too.)
Increase the oven temperature to 425F. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Sere the chicken thighs on both sides, a few minutes per side, until they are colored. Add 1/4 cup chicken stock to the Dutch oven, and move the chicken to the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear. Let the chicken rest, uncovered.
Make the dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, mustard, apple cider vinegar and walnut oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Slice the endive, wash and dry it. Toss the endive with the chopped apple and grated cheese. Chop up the walnuts, and add them to the salad. Just before serving, stir in the dressing. Serve the salad alongside the chicken.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.