Curious kumquats–sweet skin and puckery pulp–must be eaten in one bite to experience their range of flavors. This dish was inspired by Moroccan braises with preserved lemons and an old favorite Silver Palate recipe. Serve it with couscous or its Sardinian cousin, fregola, or with plain white rice, and spike it with harissa or Mexican hot sauce.
- Prunes – 1/2 lb.
- Boiling Water – 1/2 cup
- Kumquats – 1/2 lb.
- Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon
- Whole Chicken Legs – 2-4
- Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper – to taste
- Large Onion – 1, chopped
- Clove of Garlic – 1, finely chopped
- Dry White Wine – 3/4 cup
- Mild Green Olives – 1 cup (optional)
- Chicken Stock – 1/2 cup
- Harissa (optional)
- Rice or Couscous (optional) – enough for everyone eating
- Pour the boiling water over the prunes to soften, about 15 minutes. Drain and use scissors to pit and quarter the prunes. Quarter the kumquats lengthwise, remove the seeds and center pith, and if you feel energetic, cut the quarters in half again lengthwise. Set the prunes and kumquats aside.
- In a wide pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, add the chicken pieces, season with salt and pepper, and brown, turning as needed, until golden on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate. Pour off all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the onion. Stir well, scraping the pan bottom to loosed the brown bits, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the wine, raise the heat to medium, and cook, stirring to deglaze the pot, until the liquid is reduced by slightly more than half, about 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot and add the prunes, kumquats, olives (optional), and a little salt and pepper. Stir, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the stock, stir (the sauce develops and the chicken cooks), and simmer covered until the chicken is very tender, about 1 hour, basting occasionally with the sauce and adding stock if needed to keep the chicken half submerged in the sauce. The dish may be made a day ahead and reheated. Serve with couscous or rice and a green salad. Serve with harissa or hot sauce.
- Not Included in Culinary Inspirations Box: Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper, Dry White Wine, Chicken Stock, Harissa, Green Olives