Braised Chicken Legs with Prunes, Brandy, and Dijon

Braised Chicken Legs with Prunes, Brandy, and Dijon
The chicken is rich and flavorful, easy enough for weeknight fare but definitely appropriate for company. The sauce, which comes together while the chicken is braising, is a silky mixture of brandy, slightly sour-sweet prunes, deeply flavorful shallots and chicken. Dijon mustard adds a bracing balance.
Source:
Recipe type: adapted from food52.com
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 whole chicken legs, trimmed of excess skin and fat and patted dry
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup prunes
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • A few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 ½ cup chicken stock (only ½ cup for Cuisinart convection steaming oven directions))
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Season the chicken legs on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat butter and olive oil together in a large ovenproof skillet (I used cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken skin-side down until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Flip and sear on the meat side another 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  3. Drain most of the fat from the pan, leaving just a thin coating. Add the shallot, season with a pinch of salt, and sauté until the slices begin to wilt. Add the prunes and the brandy. Allow the brandy to boil off, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the chicken legs back to the pan, skin-side up, along with any juices that may have accumulated on the plate. Add chicken stock to cover most of the meat, leaving the skin exposed, and tuck in the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Bring the stock up to a simmer, then transfer the pan to the oven to finish. Braise in the oven until the chicken is very tender and cooked through, about 40 minutes.
  5. When the chicken has finished cooking, transfer the chicken legs and prunes to a warm platter and loosely tent with foil. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves from the pan juices and discard. Add mustard mixture to the pan juices. Whisk over medium heat until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and prunes and serve.
  6. To make in a Cuisinart Convection Steam oven. After browning the chicken in the pan place the pieces skin up on top in the baking pan add the Brandy Prune mixture from step 2 plus only ½ cup of the chicken stock. Put in the oven in the lower broil position. Set to bake steam at 450° F for 15 minutes or chicken pieces reach an internal temperature of 180° F Follow step 4.

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