Braised Endive

This is a tasty winter entrée served with a green salad (with an acidic vinaigrette) and plenty of good bread to soak up the sauce.  I have only made it with a decent quality boxed chicken broth.  I imagine that using a homemade chicken stock would take it up a notch.

6-8 Belgian endives (look for smaller ones with tight leaves — green, red, or a mix, is great)
3 T olive oil
2 T butter
3-4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto (about 3 or 4 slices), cut into 1 inch strips
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
flaky sea salt & pepper

Wash, dry, and lightly trim the root end of the endives. Cut each endive in half lengthwise.  Add olive oil and butter to a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is foamy, place endives in pan with their cut sides down.  You can crowd the pan in an attempt to fit them all in.  Allow endive to cook cut side down until lightly browned and caramelized (4-5 minutes on my stove) and then flip them to lightly brown the rounded sides.  Salt and pepper the cut sides after flipping.  You may have to cook the endive in two batches, depending on the size of your skillet.  If so, remove cooked endive to plate and add another tablespoon of both olive oil and butter to the skillet and cook second batch similarly.

Place browned endive side by side (cut side up) in a 9×13 baking dish.

As soon as all endive are cooked, add prosciutto strips to the skillet to quickly sauté them in remaining oil/butter over medium heat for a minute or two.  Remove prosciutto strips from the skillet and pour in chicken broth.  While the broth heats in the skillet, scrape up any brown bits in the pan and stir into the broth.

Tuck sautéed prosciutto strips into the baking dish around the endive halves. 

Tightly cover baking dish with foil and place in 375 oven for 35-40 minutes.  When most of the broth has been absorbed, remove baking dish from the oven and pour heavy cream over all.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and return pan, uncovered now, to the oven.  Cook for about 15 more minutes until the cream has started to brown on top. Remove baking dish from the oven and let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

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