Ramps are a rite of spring if you’re lucky enough to find them! A simple braise with just a few ingredients.
For The Chicken:
1 (3 lb) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Salt & pepper
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. EVO
1 cup Pearl onions (I used frozen ones) or just a small chopped onion
½ cup dry Vermouth or white wine
2 oz. thinly sliced white part of ramps (slice & reserve the green stalks for later)
1 cup chicken stock
1 fresh bay leaf
½ tsp. or so of fresh thyme
1/3 to ½ cup crème fraiche or whipping cream
Preparing the Chicken:
Season the chicken with salt & pepper.
Place a large saute pan over medium heat; add the butter & oil. When hot but not smoking, add the chicken pieces, without crowding, skin side down to begin with brown them. Turn chicken over, browning the other side. Remove to a plate.
Pour off all but 2 Tbsp. of the remaining fat in the pan. (If using regular chopped onion add it here, sauteeing until softened but not brown). Add the white part of the ramps to the onions, sauteeing a few more minutes until the onions & the ramps are done.
Add the Vermouth, to the pan, scraping up any brown bits. Raise the heat & reduce the Vermouth by half. Add the stock & thyme. Return the chicken drumsticks & thighs to the pan, cover & simmer10 minutes. Remove the lid & add the remaining chicken pieces. Cover & continue cooking until all the chicken pieces are cooked through, approximately 20 – 25 minutes. Remove to a serving platter & keep warm.
I don’t bother but if you wish you can puree the cooking liquid in a processor, press through a sieve, then return to the pan. Bring either the pureed or not pureed sauce to a boil, add the crème fraiche or heavy cream, a handful of the sliced ramp greens (approx. ½ c), salt & pepper & simmer for a couple of minutes until slightly thickened. Pour over the chicken and serve immediately.
To make your own Creme Fraiche, click here.