Friday, May 22, 2009

Paprika-Braised Chicken with Chickpea Puree and Crispy Shallots

Once again, Serious Eats saves the day.

This dish is very inexpensive to prepare and uses pantry staples to create something innovative and impressive. We were having company when we decided to make this, and it was a good choice, being economical enough to serve to a crowd, but at the same time not seeming like it.

For four eaters, you need (adapted from above link):

For the chicken
8 skin-on chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks work best)
seasoned flour for dredging
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 oz salt pork, rind removed and finely diced (or pancetta!)
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
about 3.5 c. chicken stock (or two cans)
1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
1 10oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 tablespoons corn starch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the crispy shallots
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
Vegetable oil for deep-frying

For the puree
4 c cooked chickpeas (make your own! it's easy!)
1/2 cup water (I used chicken stock for extra yum)
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

What to do (again, adapted from the above link):

1. Place the chickpeas, water, olive oil and ground cumin in a food processor or blender. Blend until texture is creamy and uniform, adding more water if necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time.

2. Place the shallots in a small saucepan and cover with vegetable oil. On low heat, bring oil to a simmer. Maintain a low, steady heat until shallots are golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain.

3. Pat chicken dry and dredge in seasoned flour, dusting off excess. Heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy saucepan over moderate heat, until hot but not smoking. Place chicken pieces skin-side down in hot oil and sear 6-8 minutes, transferring to a plate once skin is golden brown.

4. Discard left-over oil and reduce heat to low. In the same saucepan, cook salt pork until crispy, about 4 minutes. Add carrots and onions, stirring to coat in rendered pork fat, and cook until onion is translucent.

5. Add chicken broth and paprika and deglaze pan by boiling and scraping up any brown bits, 1 minute. Return chicken to pan, skin-side up, along with any juices that have accumulated on plate. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

6. Add chopped spinach and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Pour in cornstarch-water mixture, stirring to distribute, and cook until sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Season to taste.

7. While you're simmering, transfer the chickpea puree to a saucepan over low heat and heat through. Season to taste. Serve puree topped with the chicken, sprinkled with crispy shallots. Top with some of the thickened sauce. Delish!

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  1. This looks fabulous and easily adapted for your kosher readers!

  2. very easily! you can sub 1 tbs chicken fat for the pancetta/salt pork or just not drain as much of the oil off in step 4.
    It's really yummy - I think your family would really like it. :)

  3. Wow. That looks incredible. I know what's going on my to-eat list this week :)

  4. Oh, I can't wait to try this!