Monday, May 8, 2017

Lemon Chicken with Pine Nuts and Olives

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 whole lemon (zest of)
  • 4 whole chicken legs (backbone attached)
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 leek
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb chicken bones (or use backbone attached to chicken legs)
  • 1/3 head garlic
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1/4 bunch parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 tbsp onion
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1/3 cup green olives
  • 2 cups short stock (or dark chicken stock)
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 lemon (juice of)
  • 1 tbsp (heaping) honey
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

To marinate the chicken, pour the olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes and lemon zest into a large dish and stir to combine.
Prepare the chicken by first cutting off the backbone. Set the bones aside. Trim off any excess fat from the chicken and discard. Using the heel of a heavy knife, cut the bones into 2" -inch pieces. Refrigerate all of the bones for making the short stock later.
Coat the chicken in the marinade. Cover and place into the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight.

To prepare the short shock, start by roughly chopping the celery, carrots and onion. Clean and roughly chop the leek and set everything aside.
Heat a medium pot over high heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the bones. Let cook for a few minutes, without touching them, until you get a nice golden color. Be careful when turning, as the fat may splatter up. Let the bones caramelize on the other side. Then add the vegetables and garlic cloves. Let the vegetables cook for a few minutes. Once they start to color and soften, deglaze with the white wine. Once the wine has reduced, add the water, parsley, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring this to a very gentle boil, then turn down and let simmer for about an hour.
For a nice, clear stock, skim off any impurities while it's gently simmering. Make sure the stock doesn’t boil.

Preheat your oven to 350° degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pine nuts onto a tray and toast until golden, about 4 to 6 minutes. Once the pine nuts are done, set them aside and turn the oven up to 375° degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat a large, oven-proof fry pan over high heat. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot, add the oil, and place the chicken skin-side down. Fry the chicken on the first side until golden brown. You may need to turn the heat down slightly. Season the backside with salt and pepper and once the chicken has nice color, turn it over. Place into the oven to finish cooking for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

To prepare the mise en place for the sauce, first grate the onion. By grating the onion, it will easily dissolve into the sauce. Grate the ginger right over the onion. Next, mince the garlic. Remove the pits from the olives and slice. Set everything aside, while you check the chicken.

Strain the stock and skim off any excess fat from the top, if there is any. Discard most of the fat from the fry pan. Place the pan over medium heat and add the onion, ginger and garlic. Scrape up any bits from the bottom and let cook for a few minutes or until soft and translucent.
Add the saffron and lemon juice. Let this reduce for a minute or so, again scraping up any bits. Add the chicken stock and let simmer until it has reduced by about half. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
Roughly chop the cilantro. Once the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly, add the honey, olives and pine nuts. Turn off the heat and add the butter. Taste for seasoning and add the chopped cilantro just before you are ready to serve.

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