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Hearty winter vegetables are at the root of this red wine chicken stew

(Justin Tsucalas for the Washington Post/Food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for the Washington Post)

From the way they look piled in bins at the market, you might get the impression that root vegetables don’t taste that much different from one another. At least that’s what I thought until I really started paying attention to them.

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There is remarkable nuance and variety beneath those gnarly exteriors — a realm of flavor that this one-pot chicken dinner unearths beautifully. Nutritionally, roots have a lot to offer, too, with carrots particularly high in vitamin A, and others rich in vitamin C, potassium, fiber, calcium and magnesium, to mention a few highlights.

You can use just about any combination of root vegetables to make this dish, but because some tend to be on the sweet side and others more savory, I suggest including each of the two categories in equal measure to balance the flavor in the pot overall.

Braised with chicken thighs and pearl onions (another root wonder) in a red wine, garlic and thyme-infused broth, then finished with a bright splash of vinegar, those humble vegetables shine in this rustically elegant meal. You can almost picture yourself at a French country retreat while eating it, dipping a piece of crusty baguette into the sauce between forkfuls.

While all the ingredients in the pot marry to form the mouthwatering sauce, the unique taste of each individual root morsels still come through — the perfumed richness of the rutabaga, the deep flavor of the celery root, the earthy sweetness of the parsnip. The trick is to remember to take a moment to notice once you dig in.

Storage Notes: Leftover chicken and vegetables may be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Get the recipe: Red Wine-Braised Chicken Thighs With Root Vegetables