"The cookbook I'm working on now is with Daniel Boulud. Our meetings take place in the skybox, his windowed office suspended above the kitchen at his Manhattan restaurant Daniel. A consummate multitasker, he can talk on his cell phone to Japan, edit a recipe and notice sloppy garnishing on a plate 10 feet below—all at the same time. He and I wrangle incessantly over details: I always want to cut corners to make recipes more home-cook friendly, while he winces at the prospect of, say, not using a parchment-paper cover to seal in the juices when braising Basque chicken and peppers," says Melissa Clark.
How to Make the Ultimate Umami-Bomb Vegetarian Demi-Glace
4 ounces dry chorizo, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 whole chicken legs, split (3 1/2 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 large thyme sprigs
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup dry sherry
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
One 9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and pressed dry
2 tablespoons shredded basil
Crusty French bread, for serving
Heat a very large, deep skillet. Add the chorizo and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned and some of the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a large plate.
Heat the olive oil in the skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until well browned, 15 minutes. Add the chicken to the chorizo.
Add the bell peppers, red onions, garlic and thyme to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until barely softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sherry, paprika and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits from the pan.
Return the chicken and chorizo to the skillet. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Add the artichokes, tucking them in between the chicken pieces. Raise the heat to moderate and cook uncovered until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a deep platter. Stir the basil into the sauce and spoon over the chicken. Serve with crusty bread.