Verjus Braised Chicken (Serves 4)
This recipe is inspired by Lyonaisse cuisine during the grape harvest. Use thighs, legs, or wings, not the breast for this dish as the breast becomes dry with extended cooking.
4 chicken legs with thighs, separated at the joint
2 tablespoons plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 cup canned tomato pure╚
1 cup Verjus Blanc
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons cr╦me fraiche or 3 tablespoons heavy cream
(don't substitute sour cream for the cr╦me fraiche)
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped chives
Salt and white pepper to taste
te pepper to taste
Instructions: Season the chicken parts well with salt and pepper, then brown thoroughly in 2 tablespoons of the butter over high heat. When one side of the chicken is very brown, turn it and add the unpeeled garlic cloves and brown the other side. The skin on the garlic cloves will prevent it from burning, yet it will still contribute its flavor.
After browning both sides of the chicken, pour the fat from the pan; add the verjus, the chicken stock, and the canned tomato. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes. The chicken should be cooked after 20 minutes, and easily pierced with a fork. When it is tender it is done, and should be transferred to a warm platter while you make the sauce.
Reduce the braising liquid to 3/4 of a cup by boiling over high heat. Strain the sauce into a clean pan, squeezing the garlic and tomato to extract all the juices. Stir in the cr╦me fraiche, then add the remaining butter in small pieces, incorporating it well into the sauce. Be careful not to boil the sauce after the butter has been added. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, add the chopped herbs, spoon the sauce over the chicken, and serve immediately.