This recipe is a little more complicated than my regular lo-fi fare, but it’s so good so I had to share! I’ve been experimenting with a lot of fermentation projects, and this recipe was an excellent way to use up some perfectly good brine from a not-so-crisp batch of pickles. After a few weeks of holiday parties and restaurants, I’ve been cooking A LOT, including a bunch of recipes from Ottolenghi’s Simple, which I got as a Christmas gift. I’ll probably be sharing a few of them soon, so if today’s recipe is too complicated for your liking, check back soon for something a little more pared down. 🙂 But if you do embark on this pickle-brined journey, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by the result!
adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
- 4 chicken breast halves, on the bone
- 2 whole chicken legs
- 2 cups brine from a jar of dill pickles
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 medium onions, thickly sliced
- 2 carrots, thickly sliced
- 2 celery ribs, thickly sliced
- 1/2 cup semi-dry white wine, such as Riesling
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 lbs Swiss chard, ribs removed, leaves chopped into coarse ribbons
- 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
- Combine the chicken breast halves with the pickle juice and a large pinch of ground black pepper in a large freezer bag, and press out all of the air. Refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 325°. In a medium cast iron casserole or Dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of the oil over medium high heat. Salt the chicken legs and add to the pan, cooking until browned, turning once, about 6 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate, then add the onion, carrot, and celery to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the wine, bay leaves, and peppercorns.
- Return the chicken legs to the pan, add the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and braise in the oven for about one hour, or until the meat is tender. Transfer the chicken legs to a plate and allow them to cool enough to handle. Pull the meat from the bones, discarding the bones and skin. Strain the braising liquid, reserving the liquid and discarding the vegetables (or saving them for a soup). Wipe out the pan and bring the cooking liquid to a boil, cooking until it is reduced to about one cup, about 25 minutes. Keep the sauce warm.
- Raise the oven temperature to 350 and dry the chicken breasts using a paper towel. In an ovenproof skillet, heat one tablespoon of the oil. Cook the chicken breasts, skin side down, over high heat until skin is golden and crisp, about 6 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook 2 minutes on the other side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 25 minutes, until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Wipe the skillet and heat the remaining 1/4 cup of the oil over high heat. Add the Swiss chard and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the shredded chicken leg meat and about half the sauce, stir to combine, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer chard mixture to plates and top with the seared chicken breast. Drizzle with the remaining sauce and serve.