Yield: 8 Servings
Brined Chicken Breast:
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup salt
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 8 organic chicken breast halves, with skin and bones
Tagine Braised Chicken Legs:
- 2 preserved lemons, quartered
- 3 lemons
- 6 Globe artichokes, hearts trimmed and cut into quarters,
reserved in acidulated water
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 chicken legs (about 4 pounds)
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound gold pearl onions, peeled ½ pound (about
6) carrots, peeled and cut into oblique shapes
- 4 stalks celery, peeled and cut into ½- by 1-inch
sticks 1 bulb fennel, layers separated and cut into ½-
by 1-inch sticks
- 1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 2 (2-inch) pieces fresh gingerroot, peeled and crushed
Spice sachet (1 Tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 Tablespoon
white peppercorn, 2 Tablespoons ground tumeric
- ½ Tablespoon ground cumin, large pinch of saffron,
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 red dried chili peppers,
1 bay leaf, 4 sprigs thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
- ½ cup picholine olives, pitted and lightly crushed
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
- ½ cup crème fraîche
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons mint leaves, chopped
Vegetables and Chicken Breast:
- 2 bunches scallions, white and light green parts only
2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into ¼-
by 3-inch sticks
- ½ pound haricots verts, tipped
- 1 recipe Brined Chicken Breast (from above recipe)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 head garlic, quartered but not peeled
- 2 shallots, quartered but not peeled
- 2 to 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 pound couscous
- 2 cups unsalted chicken stock or water
- ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Lemons, halved (optional)
- Red chile peppers, seeds removed and sliced (optional)
For Brined Chicken Breast:
Bring the water, salt, and honey to the boil in a large pot.
Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate
until cold. (This step may be done up to 1 week in advance
and kept covered in the refrigerator.)
Put the chicken breasts in a non-reactive container or Pyrex
dish. Refrigerate uncovered for 2 hours, to allow the moisture
from the chicken to evaporate.
Pour the brine over the chicken and marinate for 1 hour in
the refrigerator. Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse
thoroughly under cold running water. Put the chicken in a
clean, non-reactive container and refrigerate, uncovered,
for 1 hour. The air drying allows the skin to dry and ensures
it will remain crisp and not stick to your pan.
For the Tagine Braised Chicken Legs:
In a bowl, cover the preserved lemons with lukewarm water.
Let soak for 4 hours, changing the water every hour.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 300°F.
Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into a medium bowl and add 2
to 3 cups of water. Keep the bowl close at hand. Remove the
tough outer leaves of one artichoke, leaving the tender inner
leaves. Using a small sharp knife, trim the base of the artichoke
until no dark green areas remain and cut into quarters. Immediately
drop the artichoke into the acidulated water to keep it from
turning brown while you trim the other artichokes. Repeat
with the other artichokes.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or roasting pan
over medium-high heat. Season the chicken legs with salt and
pepper and add to the pan. Sear until golden brown on all
sides, about 15 minutes. When the chicken is golden brown,
transfer to a platter. Reduce the temperature to medium and
add the pearl onions and carrots to the pot. Brown the vegetables
lightly, while stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the celery,
fennel, garlic, and ginger to the pot, reduce the temperature
to medium low, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the
sachet, drained artichoke hearts, preserved lemons, olives,
and butter and stir to combine. Sprinkle the flour over, stir
to combine, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Deglaze with the
white wine and reduce the liquid in the pot by three-quarters.
Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and season generously
with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the pot. Cover,
transfer to the oven, and bake for 45 minutes until the chicken
is fork tender.
Gently transfer the chicken and vegetables to a large, warm
platter; set aside and keep warm. Discard the sachet and strain
the sauce through a fine mesh sieve into a medium saucepan.
Place the pan on the stove top over medium-high heat and cook
until the sauce has been reduced by half.
Just before serving, whisk the crème fraiche, parsley,
cilantro, and mint leaves into the sauce; taste and season
with salt and pepper if needed. Pour the sauce over the chicken
and vegetables; set aside and keep warm.
For the Vegetables and Chicken Breast:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 425°F. Fill a
large bowl halfway with ice cubes and cold water. Bring a
pot of water to the boil. Season the water generously with
salt. Add the scallions to the pot and cook for 2 minutes.
Using tongs or a strainer, transfer the scallions to the ice-water
bath. Repeat with the yellow bell peppers cooking them for
2 minutes and the haricots verts for 2 minutes.
Rub the chicken breast liberally with the olive oil and season
with pepper. Put the chicken breasts, skin side up, in a large
roasting pan. Slide the pan into the oven and immediately
reduce the temperature of the oven to 300°F. Bake for
15 minutes. Add the butter, garlic, shallots, and thyme and
continue to bake for 15 minutes. Baste the chicken and bake
for 10 minutes more. Remove the pan from the oven and let
the chicken rest for 10 minutes. Remove the bone from each
breast. Set aside and keep warm.
For the Cous Cous:
Spread the couscous in a shallow baking dish. Bring the stock
or water to the boil in a medium saucepan and season generously
with salt and pepper. Pour the boiling liquid over the couscous
and immediately cover with plastic wrap. Let the couscous
steam for 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Just before
serving, toss with the parsley and transfer to a serving bowl.
To Assemble and Serve:
Cut the chicken breasts into slices and fan onto a large warm
platter. Drain the vegetables and scatter over the chicken
breasts. Serve the chicken legs and chicken breast family-style
by passing the platters around with the herbed couscous. Squeeze
some lemon juice and sprinkle some chiles over, if desired.
Palacios Remondo, Herencia Remondo, Rioja, 2006
back to top