MONIQUE SOURINHO - food photographer, stylist, recipe developer, and professional taste tester. Nothing fills my cup more than connecting with like-minded people (especially over a great meal). To learn more click here.
Le Creuset graciously gifted me the 3.5 quart Braiser and I could not be more impressed. It is now a key member of my kitchen essentials!
That being said, to showcase the gorgeous new hue I immediately went to cooking.
I seared chicken with fennel, paired with olives and citrus, married with a generous amount of white wine, then covered and transferred to the oven to simmer the juices so the steam locks in and marinates all the flavors together… Yum!
Afterwards, I was able to serve with confidence, from oven to table, thanks to the versatility of not only the pan itself, but with the color too. I love the way it can frame and compliment, or contrast and enhance any meal! It acts as a 2 in 1 since it is as useful of a tool as it is beautiful.
Though I could continue rambling and swooning over Le Creuset, I will shift the narrative to their poetic description of their stunning new color that won me over in the first place:
“An ephemeral shade born in the clouds. Softer than white, yet paler than gray, VAPEUR captures the mysterious beauty of fog – gentle, elusive and compelling. The most harmonious of neutrals, it can soften a bright palette, heighten the sophistication of other neutrals, or simply rise all on its own.” – Le Creuset
Furthermore, here is a little more about their products (in the off chance you might not have known):
About Le Creuset:
“Since 1925, Le Creuset has been renowned as the colorful French companion in kitchens across the globe. Defined by three essential truths, Les Trois Vérités, we’re more than just cookware. As the first, finest and favorite, we’re honored to share in the meals, memories and traditions made by food lovers around the world.
With an unrivaled selection of bold, rich colors in a range of finishes and materials, Le Creuset is the leader in highly-durable, chip-resistant enameled cast iron.
Handcrafted in France with only premium materials, our legendary enameled cast iron provides even heat and moisture distribution for dishes with consistently superior texture and flavor.
Beloved for the performance it delivers and the personal statement it makes, Le Creuset has been trusted by home cooks and master chefs for generations — it is the backbone of kitchens around the world, now and for years to come.” – Le Creuset
I don’t know about you, but I think I’m feeling inspired all over again after reading more about them!
P.S. For the month of September, they are offering a 25% discount off all Vapeur products! To add to the excitement, I am partnering with Le Creuset to host a giveaway on Instagram for a $50 gift card to a Le Creuset Outlet!
For more information you can follow this link.
Braised Fennel & Chicken with Olives & Citrus
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 60-90 minutes
- 4 Tbs salted butter
- 3 small/medium fennel bulbs, quartered (fronds reserved for garnish)
- 6 chicken thighs, skin on
- 1.5 cups Castelvetrano olives, pitted and halved
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced (about 3 tsp)
- 1/4 cup (freshly squeezed) orange juice
- 3 navel oranges, sliced (optional: char them for extra flavor)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large cast iron skillet with a lid such as Le Creuset’s 3.5 Quart Braiser, bring to medium heat. Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and season with the sea salt and pepper.
- Working in two batches, add 2 Tbs of butter into the hot pan, roll around, then place the chicken thighs skin side down and cook without disturbing, until the skin is golden brown and the thighs lift easily from the pan (about 5-6 minutes). Flip the chicken and sear for another 3-5 minutes, or until golden. Repeat.
- Then, when ready, transfer the thighs to a plate and sear the fennel pieces for 3-5 minutes per side until golden then transfer alongside the thighs.
- Next, deglaze the pan by (carefully) pouring the dry white wine in, then garlic and olives, and scraping up any browned bits as the stock heats and rolls into a boil for 10 minutes.
- Afterwards, return the fennel and toss in the garlic. Nestle the thighs into the pan, skin side up and arrange the orange wedges and olives around the chicken, then squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and into the drippings.
- Cover the skillet with a lid and place on the center rack in the preheated oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear.
- (Optional) Remove the lid, increase the heat to broil, and bake until the chicken skin crisps back up (keeping an eye on to ensure nothing burns).
- When ready, remove from the oven and finish by garnishing with fennel fronds.
- Serve immediately (preferably with crusty bread to sop up the juices) and enjoy!
For more delicious recipes to create or pair alongside, visit the Kitchen Journal.