Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chicken Legs Braised with Tomatoes, Onions, and Garlic

This recipe is from my newest purchase, The Art of Simple Food. I wasn't going to get this book, but the Cook's Library had a book signing with Alice Waters, who started a food revolution back in the 1970s. Though I couldn't go because it was between 1 and 3 (can you imagine poor little MetaBaby? And poor little me trying to calm poor little MetaBaby? CRAZY!!), they're nice enough to offer to get the book signed for customers. So far, it's a lovely cookbook filled with tasty, fresh, nutritious homey recipes, as well as several variations to help the cook adapt the recipe to his or her tastes.

This recipe was delicious, and great for leftovers. It looks like it might be adaptable to crock pot and such, which makes for a time saving alternative. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice to take advantage of the juices.

Chicken Legs Braised with Tomatoes, Onions, and Garlic
Makes 4 servings

4 chicken legs
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, sliced thick (or diced large)
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 bay leaf
1 small rosemary sprig
1/3 cup dry white wine (or vermouth)
4 tomatoes, diced course, or 1 small (12-ounce can organic whole tomatoes, diced (including juice)
1 cup chicken broth

Season the chicken with salt and pepper the day before, if possible. Though I didn't, and it was still delicious.

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan* over medium heat. Add olive oil. Place the chicken legs into the pan skin side down and cook until crisp and brown, about 12 minutes. Turn and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove the chicken and add the onions. Cook until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary and cook for 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Arrange the chicken in the pan, skin side up, and pour in any juices that have collected. Pour in the chicken broth. The liquid should reach halfway up the chicken;add more if needed. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook at a bare simmer or in a 325°F oven for 45 minutes. When done, pour the braising liquid into a small bowl and skim the fat. Discard the bay leaf and rosemary. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Return to the pan and serve.

*Note: Non-stick pans don't brown food very well, so use something else, if possible.