Braised Chicken Legs with Green Olives
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
Chef Way In his book Braise, Daniel Boulud braises duck legs for several hours until they are meltingly tender and incredibly flavorful.
Easy Way Braising chicken in a liquid that combines onions, carrots, bacon and olives creates complex flavor relatively quickly.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 whole chicken legs (3/4 pound each)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 ounces thickly sliced lean bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 small turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup pitted green olives, preferably Picholine
- 2 large thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large cast-iron casserole, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add 3 of the legs to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and brown the remaining 3 legs over moderate heat.
- Pour off the fat in the casserole. Add the bacon, onion, carrots and turnips and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until barely softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the olives, thyme sprigs, bay leaf and stock. Nestle the chicken legs in the casserole so they are partially submerged and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for about 45 minutes, until the chicken and vegetables are tender.
- Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a platter; cover and keep warm. Strain the broth into a large measuring cup and skim off as much fat as possible. Return the broth to the casserole and boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return the chicken and vegetables to the casserole, cover and cook for 5 minutes to heat through, then serve.
Cabernet Franc, the grape of Chinon, also does well in Napa Valley; look for one with rich cherry flavor to go with this chicken dish.