Braised Chook Thighs with Young Leeks, Bay Leaves and Verjuice
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Tip: At least one hour prior, trim leeks and soak them upside down in a jug of water to release any hidden soil. This saves having to cut the leeks in half to be sure they are clean.
Step 1: Preheat a fan-forced to 200C
Step 2: Season the skin of the chicken thighs with sea salt and set aside for 20 minutes to allow the chicken to reach room temperature.
Step 3: Place the butter into a wide nonstick frypan suitable to go into the oven on medium heat and let the butter begin to sizzle, then add 1 Tbspn of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to inhibit burning.
Step 4: Once hot, place the thighs into the pan with the skin side down and fry for 5 minutes or until golden brown then turn over for and cook for a minute on the other dise. Remove and set aside. Keep any fat left behind in the pan and return to the heat.
Tip: Don’t overcrowd the frying pan as the thighs will start to stew, it is best to cook the thighs in two batches.
Step 5: Take the leeks from the water and dry them with a paper towel.
Step 6: In the same pan, gently fry the garlic turning to colour the garlic all at a medium to low temperature and then add the leeks and fry for 3 to 4 minutes more.
Step 7: Deglaze the pan with verjuice and add chicken stock, bay leaves, and thyme and reduce by half before adding the chicken thighs. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 8: Place into the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Step 9: Remove from the oven and allow a resting time of 10 minutes before serving the chicken with the leeks, garlic, and all the juices. This would be perfect to serve on a bed of creamy polenta.