CHICKEN WITH BABY TURNIPS AND PRESERVED LEMON

THIS IS A VARIATION OF A DISH I MAKE A LOT -- PAN-COOKED CHICKEN.  SOMETIMES IT IS FLAVORED WITH GARLIC AND WHITE WINE;  OTHER TIMES, WITH PEARL ONIONS AND TURNIPS OR RUSSIAN FINGERLINGS.  I'VE MADE THIS DISH WITH PANCETTA, MUSHROOMS AND TOMATOES OR LEEKS, CRÉME FRAÎCHE AND LOTS OF FRESH TARRAGON.  THERE ARE, IN FACT, INFINITE RIFTS YOU CAN PLAY USING THE SAME BASIC TECHNIQUE:  BROWN THE CHICKEN, SWEAT THE VEGETABLES, ADD SOME KIND OF COOKING LIQUID, RETURN THE CHICKEN TO THE PAN AND FINISH IN THE OVEN.  THE COMBINATION OF SHALLOTS, GARLIC, WHITE WINE, PRESERVED LEMON, AND THE HERBS GIVES THIS PARTICULAR DISH A SUBTLE, COMPLEX FLAVOR.  BUT, PLEASE, INVENT ONE OF YOUR OWN AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT TURNS OUT.  

 1 WHOLE CHICKEN CUT INTO 8 PIECES OR
 6 WHOLE CHICKEN LEGS, LEGS AND THIGHS SEPARATED
 20 PEARL ONIONS OR CIPPOLLINI
 4 LARGE SHALLOTS
 6 PEELED GARLIC CLOVES
 20 VERY SMALL WHITE TURNIPS
 ½ PRESERVED LEMON, PEEL ONLY
 2 cups WHITE WINE
 6 FRESH SAGE LEAVES
 6 SPRIGS OF FRESH THYME
 FRESH PARSLEY FOR GARNISH

1

PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 325º

DRY THE CHICKEN THOROUGHLY WITH PAPER TOWELS. SALT AND PEPPER.

HEAT 1/2 CUP GRAPESEED OR CANOLA OIL IN A STEEP-SIDED PAN. WHEN THE OIL IS SHIMMERING, LAY IN THE CHICKEN PIECES, SKIN SIDE DOWN. DON'T CROWD THE PAN. BROWN FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES ON EACH SIDE. REGULATE HEAT SO THE SKIN BROWNS BUT DOES NOT BURN.

BRING A MEDIUM SAUCEPAN OF WATER TO A BOIL. MEANWHILE, USING A VERY SHARP PARING KNIFE, TRIM BOTH ENDS OF THE ONIONS. DUMP INTO THE BOILING WATER AND BOIL FOR ABOUT A MINUTE. DRAIN AND DUMP ONIONS INTO A SINKFUL OF COLD WATER. REMOVE THE SKINS FROM THE ONIONS.

TRIM THE TURNIPS, LEAVING A BIT OF THE GREEN STEM.

PEEL AND SLICE GARLIC INTO THIN PIECES.

SEPARATE THE PULP FROM THE LEMON PEEL. DISCARD PULP. JULIENNE THE PEEL.

STRIP THE LEAVES FROM THYME SPRIGS. CHOP THE SAGE LEAVES.

WHEN ALL THE CHICKEN HAS BROWNED ON BOTH SIDES, REMOVE TO A PLATE.

POUR OFF MOST OF THE FAT. ADD 2 TBSPS OF BUTTER. WHEN THE BUTTER IS VERY HOT ADD THE ONIONS. SAUTE TILL THEY ARE SLIGHTLY BROWNED. REMOVE TO A BOWL WITHA SLOTTED SPOON.

ADD THE GARLIC, LEMON PEEL AND HERBS. STIR BRIEFLY, THEN ARRANGE THE CHICKEN ON TOP AND POUR IN 2 CUPS OF WHITE WINE. SCATTER THE TURNIPS ON TOP OF THE CHICKEN. BRING TO A BOIL FOR A MINUTE, THEN PLACE IN THE OVEN AND PARTIALLY COVER.

COOK FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES, THEN ADD THE ONIONS. COOK ANOTHER 5 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE CHICKEN JUICES RUN CLEAR WHEN PIERCED WITH A FORK.

GARNISH WITH FRESH PARSLEY LEAVES.

SERVES 4-6

Ingredients

 1 WHOLE CHICKEN CUT INTO 8 PIECES OR
 6 WHOLE CHICKEN LEGS, LEGS AND THIGHS SEPARATED
 20 PEARL ONIONS OR CIPPOLLINI
 4 LARGE SHALLOTS
 6 PEELED GARLIC CLOVES
 20 VERY SMALL WHITE TURNIPS
 ½ PRESERVED LEMON, PEEL ONLY
 2 cups WHITE WINE
 6 FRESH SAGE LEAVES
 6 SPRIGS OF FRESH THYME
 FRESH PARSLEY FOR GARNISH

Directions

1

PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 325º

DRY THE CHICKEN THOROUGHLY WITH PAPER TOWELS. SALT AND PEPPER.

HEAT 1/2 CUP GRAPESEED OR CANOLA OIL IN A STEEP-SIDED PAN. WHEN THE OIL IS SHIMMERING, LAY IN THE CHICKEN PIECES, SKIN SIDE DOWN. DON'T CROWD THE PAN. BROWN FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES ON EACH SIDE. REGULATE HEAT SO THE SKIN BROWNS BUT DOES NOT BURN.

BRING A MEDIUM SAUCEPAN OF WATER TO A BOIL. MEANWHILE, USING A VERY SHARP PARING KNIFE, TRIM BOTH ENDS OF THE ONIONS. DUMP INTO THE BOILING WATER AND BOIL FOR ABOUT A MINUTE. DRAIN AND DUMP ONIONS INTO A SINKFUL OF COLD WATER. REMOVE THE SKINS FROM THE ONIONS.

TRIM THE TURNIPS, LEAVING A BIT OF THE GREEN STEM.

PEEL AND SLICE GARLIC INTO THIN PIECES.

SEPARATE THE PULP FROM THE LEMON PEEL. DISCARD PULP. JULIENNE THE PEEL.

STRIP THE LEAVES FROM THYME SPRIGS. CHOP THE SAGE LEAVES.

WHEN ALL THE CHICKEN HAS BROWNED ON BOTH SIDES, REMOVE TO A PLATE.

POUR OFF MOST OF THE FAT. ADD 2 TBSPS OF BUTTER. WHEN THE BUTTER IS VERY HOT ADD THE ONIONS. SAUTE TILL THEY ARE SLIGHTLY BROWNED. REMOVE TO A BOWL WITHA SLOTTED SPOON.

ADD THE GARLIC, LEMON PEEL AND HERBS. STIR BRIEFLY, THEN ARRANGE THE CHICKEN ON TOP AND POUR IN 2 CUPS OF WHITE WINE. SCATTER THE TURNIPS ON TOP OF THE CHICKEN. BRING TO A BOIL FOR A MINUTE, THEN PLACE IN THE OVEN AND PARTIALLY COVER.

COOK FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES, THEN ADD THE ONIONS. COOK ANOTHER 5 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE CHICKEN JUICES RUN CLEAR WHEN PIERCED WITH A FORK.

GARNISH WITH FRESH PARSLEY LEAVES.

SERVES 4-6

CHICKEN WITH BABY TURNIPS AND PRESERVED LEMON
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