Monday, April 20, 2009

Bastardizing a Bastardized Recipe

I recently came into a chicken that, while possessing an interesting provenance, maybe spent a few more days on this earth than she should have. Too old to roast (kind of), but not quite ready for stew, most of the bird went to Jewish penicillin. I had different plans for the legs.

Too lazy to go to the limited cookbook archive, I googled "braised chicken leg", and this came up. Egads! A simplified great celebrity chef recipe! Well, if it's already in the pot I figured no one would mind me messing with it. So here's how I did it. By no means true to the inspirational recipe or the F&W version. And really, after this F&W article, it's hard to take that magazine too seriously.

- Chicken Legs
- Fat for sauteing (I used lard)
- Bacon (diced)
- Shallot (chopped)
- Garlic (smashed)
- Olives (pitted and chopped)
- Tomato paste
- Stock (I used veal)
- Herbs (I've been working my way through a dried poultry seasoning blend that was gifted to me--pretty good for braises)
- Butter
- Salt and pepper

- Preheat oven to 350 while getting an oven safe pan (that has a lid) hot on the stove
- Season and sear chicken in fat of choice
- Set chix aside and drain fat
- In same pan chix was cooked in, add bacon and shallot and heat till cooked but chewy and caramelized, respectively
- Add tomato paste, olives, and garlic and cook till fragrant
- Add stock and herbs and bring to a boil
- Add chix back to pan, skin side up, and cover pot with lid and an under cover
- Place in 350 oven for around 45 min
- Remove from oven, set chix aside, and strain sauce
- Quickly defat sauce and pour it back into the pan (which should be quickly rinsed when the chix is aside and the sauce is in whatever it was strained into--this is a one pot recipe)
- Reduce sauce and swirl in some butter to finish
- Enjoy

Served with some Yukon Golds (from North Union) that were mashed with butter, cream, and some parmesan, it was a really satisfying meal. Just wish I had bread to sop up more of the sauce. Definitely my current favorite chicken braise.

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