Brown Butter Chicken Jus with Citrus and Greens
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 15 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
This dish is loosely based on one that René Redzepi makes at his Copenhagen restaurant, Noma, using Nordic herbs instead of cilantro and pickled vegetables in place of citrus. Redzepi doesn’t serve much meat at Noma; instead, he uses tricks like turning a richly flavored chicken jus into a sauce for the salad.
- 2 whole chicken legs, split, or 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12 walnut halves
- 4 mandarin oranges
- 1 large pink grapefruit
- 1 orange
- 1 Meyer lemon (optional)
- 24 paper-thin slices of peeled fresh ginger
- 1 kumquat, very thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 cups small or torn mixed red lettuce and radicchio leaves
- 1/2 cup mixed flat-leaf parsley and cilantro leaves
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Cut the meat from the chicken legs. Cut the meat and any skin into 1-inch pieces; reserve the bones. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
- In a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the chicken bones and meat and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until richly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and boil until reduced by two-thirds, about 3 minutes. Add another 1 1/2 cups of water and simmer over low heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 25 minutes. Strain the stock into a small saucepan. Skim off the fat and boil the stock over high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 3 minutes.
- In a small skillet, cook the butter over moderate heat until nutty brown, about 2 minutes. Pour the brown butter into the chicken jus.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a pie plate, toast the walnuts for about 6 minutes, until golden. Let cool, then break them in half.
- Cut the skins and bitter white pith from the mandarins, grapefruit, orange and lemon. Cut in between the membranes to release the sections into a bowl. Cut the grapefruit, orange and lemon sections in thirds.
- Arrange the citrus pieces on plates along with the walnut pieces, ginger slices and kumquat. Scatter the lettuce, radicchio and herbs around the plate. Bring the brown butter chicken jus to a simmer, whisking, and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Drizzle the brown butter sauce over the citrus and garnishes and serve right away.
The brown butter chicken jus can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently.
The flavors in this dish are quite complex: deep and rich, but also bright and citrusy. Serve it with a crisp, steely Italian white wine, like Verdicchio, that won’t interfere with the layers of flavor.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.