Delicious chicken and a seasonal, unique pesto.
- 1–2 lbs chicken legs or pieces
- 2 onions, sliced
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed or 1 tsp chopped garlic scapes
- Salt and Pepper
- Chicken or vegetable stock (or water)
- White wine (optional)
For the Pea Pesto
- 1 lb peas, blanched and peeled
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced or pounded in a mortar OR 1 tsp chopped garlic scapes
- 1–2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
To Braise the Chicken
- Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper and allow to sit for an hour before cooking. Lightly pat the skin side of the chicken with a towel to remove excess moisture (this will help to crisp the skin) In a sauté pan or large dutch oven sear the chicken on medium-high heat, skin side first. Take your time in getting the skin of the chicken to render and caramelize (but not blacken). When the skin has become a rich golden brown, turn the legs over and lightly sear on the other side. Remove the legs from the pan and add your sliced onions. Caramelize them in the pan, using a wooden spoon to turn and stir the onions and release the little bits of fond from the bottom. Once the onions have softened, add your cloves of crushed garlic and continue cooking until the onions have browned…
- At this point, you may add a cup or two of white wine (if you have it) to deglaze the pan and add some complexity to your braise. If you do this step, allow the wine to simmer and reduce until below the level of the onions. This removes the alcohol and is safe for children to eat.
- Add your seared chicken back into the pan and add enough stock or water until the level covers the meat by about three quarters. Cover the pan and turn the heat down to just below a simmer – the chicken should take approximately one hour to cook – but check after 45 minutes. It is ready when you can feel the meat has relaxed when pressed between the leg and thigh joint. If it still feels springy to the touch and the joint does not bend easily, continue cooking a while longer.
- Once ready, it is always ideal to allow the meat to cool slightly in the cooking liquid – to remove it at the height of cooking is akin to slicing meat that has not rested. It will retain more of its own juices if allowed to rest a bit, so just remove pan from the heat and set aside while you set the table and…. Relax. Maybe take a moment to peek outside at the beautiful full moon in the sky. To serve, place chicken on a serving dish and keep in a warm spot.
- Spoon some of the soft onions and garlic over and reduce the liquid to a saucy consistency (taste as you go to check for seasoning – knowing that as you reduce the liquid, it will taste a bit saltier the further you go.) When you’re happy with the consistency, swirl in a knob or two of butter and spoon over the chicken. Garnish with your beautiful fava bean pesto and enjoy with some crusty bread, steamed rice or simply with a salad…
To Make the Pesto
- First shell your peas. In a mixing bowl, combine the peas, finely chopped with the chopped parsley, garlic (or garlic scapes) salt and pepper. Fold in just enough olive oil to bind together and fall gently from a spoon. Add a squeeze of lemon (and some grated zest, if the mood strikes you) just before serving.
- Not Included in large Culinary Inspirations Boxes: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper, Chicken or Vegetable Stock (or you can use water), White Wine (optional), Butter (included in the 3-5 Culinary Inspirations Box only).