Inspired by Ian Knauer's recipe for Steam-Braised Chicken and Black Mushrooms that was published in Gourmet Magazine. At once sweet and savory with a hint of umami, this recipe has become a staple in my kitchen. I alternate between cooking it in a cast iron pot and a pressure cooker, each yielding slightly different results, but equally delicious. —S. Mitrovich
dried porcini mushrooms
butter or olive oil, divided
medium leeks (white and light green part only),
granny smith apples, sliced into 1/4 in thick pieces
Place porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water over the mushrooms. Let soak for 20 minutes. Line a fine sieve set over a bowl with a cheesecloth or paper towels and drain the mushrooms, squeezing out all the water. Reserve the soaking liquid and rinse mushrooms to remove any sand. Add mushrooms back to the reserved liquid and set aside.
Chop leeks, then wash. Heat butter (or oil, if using) over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté leeks with 1/2 tsp salt until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add apples, mushrooms and soaking liquid and sauté for 2-3 more minutes. Stir in soy sauce and orange zest and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Using the same skillet, heat another 2 tablespoons butter (or oil if using) and brown the chicken on all sides until the chicken is a nice golden brown. Add apple/mushroom mixture back into the pan. Bring to a boil, cover pan and reduce heat to low. Cook for another 45 min on low heat, adding a few table spoons of water towards the end if needed so the mixture does not burn.
Remove chicken from heat and adjust seasoning if necessary. Place a leg of chicken on each plate and spoon the sauce over each leg.