Braised Chicken Legs & Thighs With Tomatoes & Heirloom Beans
by Lucia Watson, Chef , Lucia’s Restaurant, Minneapolis, Minn.
Moist, tender Smart Chicken thighs combine with herbs, spices, and the delicious taste of heirloom beans for an unforgettable blend of flavors. The garlic, onion, and wine add a surprising splash of piquancy.
- 2 each Smart Chicken legs and thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Big splash white wine
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves smashed garlic
- 1 red and yellow pepper, diced
- 2 to 3 cups diced tomato
- 2 cups good chicken stock
- 1 sprig each rosemary, thyme, parsley; plus 1 bay leaf
- 1 can or about 2 cups high-quality heirloom or similar beans, cooked
- Chopped parsley, basil, mint, lemon zest, and orange zest for garnish
In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil until just smoking. Season the chicken legs and thighs with salt and pepper. Add them to the skillet, and sear until golden brown, turning the chicken over to brown all sides. Remove and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the garlic, onion, and peppers. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Add the wine, stir, and let cook a few minutes more. Add the tomatoes, stock, and sprigs of herbs. Nestle the chicken back into the pot and cook, covered, over medium-low heat for about 40 minutes. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F. Remove any big pieces of the herbs and stir in the cooked beans.
While the chicken is cooking, make the garnish. Zest the lemon and orange. Chop or rip up the other herbs and mix with the zest.
To serve, put the chicken and all the juice and beans in a pretty bowl and sprinkle with the garnish.
To cook heirloom beans:
Soak the beans overnight in enough water to generously cover. In the morning, drain and lightly rinse with cold water. Place the beans in a heavy kettle and cover with plenty of cold water. Add a dash of olive oil, a bay leaf, one whole tomato, a few unpeeled cloves of garlic, and a pinch of salt. Bring the beans to a boil; reduce heat and cook until tender to the bite. This can take 1 to 3 hours, depending on how dry and delicate the beans are.
Drain. (Be sure to save the liquid for a soup.) Season with butter, salt and pepper, and grated parmesan cheese.
Pairing: Barbera d'Alba