The warm, toasty notes of the baharat, a cumin-scented spice blend, contrast with the fresh pops of fava beans, herbs and lemon in this surprisingly light braised chicken dish.
Slideshow: More Braising Recipes
2 1/2 teaspoons baharat (see Note)
6 chicken legs (3 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small onion, halved through the root
1 lemon, halved
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup dry sherry
3 3/4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3 pounds fava beans, shelled
1/2 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
Crispy Rice with Dried Mint and Lemon (see Note), for serving
How to Make It
In a small bowl, mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of the baharat with 1 tablespoon of salt. Rub the mixture all over the chicken legs and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 250°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add 3 of the chicken legs and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, 10 minutes; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken, then pour off the fat.
Add the onion and 1 lemon half to the casserole cut side down and cook over moderately high heat until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bay leaf and sherry and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Return the chicken and its juices to the casserole. Add the stock, the remaining 1 teaspoon of baharat and 3/4 teaspoon of salt; bring to a simmer. Cover and braise in the oven until the chicken is very tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Transfer the chicken legs to a plate and let cool slightly; discard the onion, lemon half and bay leaf. Skim the fat off the braising liquid, then simmer over moderately high heat until reduced by one-fourth, 8 to 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Discard the chicken skin and bones and pull the meat into large chunks; return the meat to the braising liquid and keep warm.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the fava beans for 1 minute. Drain and transfer to the ice bath to cool. Drain the fava beans and peel off the skins.
Fold the fava beans and the 1/2 cup of parsley into the braised chicken and reheat if necessary. Garnish the chicken with more parsley. Cut the remaining lemon half into wedges and serve with the chicken. Serve with the Crispy Rice with Dried Mint and Lemon.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Reheat gently before finishing.
Baharat (pronounced BAH-ha-ROT) is the Arabic word for spices. This all-purpose blend commonly includes black pepper, cumin and cinnamon. Find out how to make the Crispy Rice with Dried Mint and Lemon.
Full-bodied Western Cape white blend.
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