Friday, April 26, 2013

Chicken Braised with Peppers and Lemon

My mother used to braise a chicken with peppers, onions, lemons and capers and it' was so simple and satisfying. It's rather grey and rainy out, so I thought this would be the perfect dish for a damp spring evening.  Serve with crusty bread and a side salad.

3 bone in skin on chicken breasts
1 whole chicken leg
1 medium yellow onion cut into strips
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
12 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 lemon, sliced
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 splashes of sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar
2 dried bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary (tie the herbs into a bundle with kitchen string or make a sack with cheesecloth)
1 tsp capers
1 dash celery salt
2 tsp Hungarian paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Generously season chicken with sea salt and fresh pepper. In a large heavy oven proof pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive or grapeseed oil.  Place chicken skin side down and cook on medium high until skin is crispy- about 7 minutes (if it doesn't release from the pan it's not ready to flip).

Flip the chicken and brown the other side for about 5 minutes, remove the chicken and set it on a plate.

Lower the heat to medium low and add onions and pepper and cook until softened- about 5 minutes. Then add garlic and cook until fragrant- about 1 minute.

Add wine and reduce about 3 minutes. Add stock, herbs, capers and seasonings except paprika.

Return chicken skin side up to the pan and season with paprika (you could stir in a few dollops of sour cream to thicken the sauce and make it richer).  Scatter half the lemon slices across the pan- cover and cook at 220 in the oven for 1.5 hours.

Remove from the oven and discard the cooked lemons and herb bouquet and garnish with remaining fresh lemon slices and thyme sprigs.

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