Oh the flavor! This is absolutely delicious. I’m disappointed with the photo as it really doesn’t do this dish justice. The olives add a great flavor dimension, but the real star contributor is the chicken quarter. Because of their combination of dark and light meat, chicken leg quarters have been proven to create the most flavorful stocks. I couldn’t agree more.
While this is not a difficult dish, you will need to start on this meal about 2 hours ahead of time. So while this isn’t ideal for a weeknight when you are rushing around, this makes for a wonderful Sunday dinner. I originally found this recipe on Food and Wine’s website, but I’ve made several changes making mine a bit different. Some of those changes include using chicken leg quarters instead of chicken legs (and skinning them for less fat), leeks instead of onions, and red potatoes instead of turnips and carrots. Also, because I used leg quarters, which are considerably larger than just legs, I used more broth and created an au jus to serve this with it as well.
A thoroughly enjoyable meal that everyone in the family gave a thumb’s up! I loved this, one of my favorites!
Braised Chicken Legs with Red Potatoes
adapted from Food & Wine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 chicken leg quarters, skins removed and fat trimmed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces thickly sliced lean bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 leeks, cut in half then sliced thin
6 or 7 medium red potatoes, cut into 1″ chunks, about 3 cups
1 cup pitted green olives, preferably Picholine
2 large thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 14-oz cans chicken broth (about 3 1/2 cups)
For Au Jus:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
reserved, skimmed broth from pan
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large cast-iron Dutch oven, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add 2 of the legs to the Dutch oven and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and brown the remaining 3 legs over moderate heat.
Pour off the fat in the Dutch oven. Add the bacon, leeks, and red potatoes and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until barely softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the olives, thyme sprigs, bay leaf and chicken broth. Nestle the chicken legs in the Dutch oven so they are partially submerged and bring to a boil.
Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer the covered pan to the oven and cook for about 45-60 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, or use a fat separator.
To make the Au Jus (for a thicker gravy, use less of the broth):
Wipe the Dutch oven out with a paper towel and over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter foams and settles, add the two tablespoons of flour and whisk. Cook for a minute or so, it should smell like pie crust cooking. While whisking, add reserved pan broth to the flour mixture. Use all the broth for a thinner au jus or half the broth for a thicker gravy. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over chicken and vegetables.
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