Braised Chicken in Tomato Cream | We make a lot of chicken. We know it inside and out. We cook it every which way. And even after all the fancy preparations, the simplest approach always churns out the best eats. And that’s what we do here. This our spin on Poulet Provencal – a French recipe for braised chicken legs in tomatoes and the usual herbs & spices from the land of pastries & princesses. It’s easy and always hits the spot.
* If you want to make the skin extra crispy, salt the chicken skin in the morning and leave it in the fridge uncovered until you're ready to make dinner!
- Butter - 2 tablespoons, softened
- Yukon Gold Potatoes - 2, medium
- Red Potatoes - 2, medium
- Heavy Cream - 1 cup
- Whole Milk - ⅓ cup
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Nutmeg - ¼ teaspoon
- Chicken Bouillon Powder - ½ teaspoon
- Salt - ½ teaspoon
- Canola Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Chicken Legs - 4, skin-on
- San Marzano Tomatoes - 28 ounces, canned
- Chicken Stock - 1 cup
- White Wine - ⅓ cup
- Baby Bella Mushrooms - ½ cup, halved, thinly sliced
- Carrots - ½ cup, small dice
- White Onion - ⅓ cup, small dice
- Garlic - 2 cloves, grated
- Rosemary - 2 sprigs
- Thyme - 5 sprigs
- Parsley - 2 tablespoons, thinly sliced, garnish
- Coriander - ¼ teaspoon
- Smoked Paprika - ¼ teaspoon
- Ancho Chili Powder - ¼ teaspoon
- Sugar - ½ teaspoon
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Peel the red potatoes. Don't peel the yukon golds though - we want that rustic skin.
- Then cut the potatoes into large equal chunks.
- And get all your spices together!
- Fill up your sauce pot with water, salt it heavily, drop in the potatoes, then put the pot over high heat.
- Bring the potatoes to a boil and cook them until they are fork tender - about 30 minutes.
- Now go ahead and strain them and toss them directly into the food processor along with the butter.
- Meanwhile, toss the cream, milk and all spices into the saucepan, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the cream mix, whisking often, for about 18 to 20 minutes, until it's reduced to about 1 cup.
- Pulse the food processor a few times to start mixing the potatoes, then turn the machine on and let it run.
- Now grab that hot cream and slowly start to pour it into the processor until the potatoes are nice and creamy - you should only need about ¾ cup. Save the rest of the cream for plating.
- Keep the potatoes in a warm place as you get going on the chicken.
- Here we go. Pat the chicken legs very dry with paper towels and then liberally season them with the salt.
- Then grate your garlic and cut up all veggies.
- Toss the oil and butter in the dutch oven and put it over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil shimmers and is hot, lay the legs in skin-side down, and sear them for 5 minutes (don't touch them!).
- Then flip the legs and sear them for 3 minutes on the second side.
- Take them out of the dutch and set them aside. They should be nice & crispy!
- Reduce the heat to medium and throw in the mushrooms, carrots, onions and a pinch of salt, and saute the aromatics in the chicken fat for about 5 minutes until they're all softened and fond (aka brown bits) starts to accumulate on the pan bottom.
- Then stir in the stock and wine, and scrape up the fond.
- Now crush the san marzanos with your hands and drop them into the dutch. Also toss in the garlic, rosemary, thyme and sugar, and give it a big stir.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer it for 5 minutes uncovered.
- Now add the chicken legs back to the sauce skin-side up and cover the dutch, but leave a small crack so some steam can escape, and cook for 22 minutes.
- After 22, remove your perfectly cooked chicken, then increase the heat to medium-high and boil the sauce uncovered for 5 to 6 more minutes to just thicken it up. Season to taste with sugar and salt. Well done!
* Don't use all that potato cream! Save some for garnish.
* When making mashed potatoes, always put the potatoes in cold water first and then bring them to a boil. That way they cook evenly.
* Red potatoes have more sugar than yukon golds, so they give the puree some extra stickiness.
* Adding the grated garlic when we do actually makes it taste better (as opposed to sauteing it). Trust us!
* And remember, always take chicken off (or out of) your cooking element when it reaches 157 internal temp.