Braised chicken legs is what my mom cooked for the Batman and I last week. It is tomato and pepper harvest over there, so these babies took a nice simmering bath in a roasted pepper sauce from the garden. I knew I had to come home and make it myself over a bowl of yellow polenta. Because really, at the shack we put everything over some creamy polenta if we can.
I got so overwhelmed by all the recipe ideas flying around in my brain from our Sicily Travel trip, that I literally did not know what to share next. The Sicilian tomato onion salad I started my day with every single day, the Sicilian pistachio pesto over home made tagliatelle and prawns, or the insane to die for ricotta fritters dipped in orange blossom honey ? I mean who could even choose…? I hope you can understand my dilemma.
So, since this is the first thing I made once we got home, I just went with the braised chicken legs recipe first. Reminiscent of the rustic chicken stew & creamy polenta from way back when, this one is a rustic superstar in its own right.
Smothered in a roasted pepper sauce, these braised chicken legs are slowly simmered until the meat falls of the bone, literally. Brightened up by lovely green peas and spooned over a comforting bed of golden creamy polenta.
These chicken legs are the poster child for what rustic peasant food is all about. Wholesome, simple, healthy and last but not least mouthwatering delicious and comforting. Can you smell it yet …?
You could use a jar of store bought roasted peppers in this recipe, but i’ll warn you about missing out on that subtle smoky flavor you get from roasting your own peppers. I wouldn’t skip that step.
Since i added quite a few green peas on top of the braised chicken legs, you could serve this as is, a one pot meal. But why would you do that when you can spoon it over bowls of golden creamy polenta ? That combo is everything, even on a hot day like we are having in California today. Which is totally crazy to me since it was raining cats and dogs before we got on the plane back to the U.S.
I have quite a few more photos to share with you from the country side, and our adventure up in the mountains at Castel Bran in Transylvania. It was cold and damp, rainy and foggy, just the classic creepy scenery and feeling we were after. You’ll see for yourself soon.
So let’s get some braised chicken legs going, a pot of polenta and dive into the photo bucket !
- 3 lb chicken legs bone in organic
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 5 roasted bell peppers red
- 1 lb green peas fresh or frozen
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2-3 c Water
- 2 tsp Sea salt + more to taste
- 2 leaves bay
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 2 tbsp fresh chives for garnish
- 5 c water
- 1 c yellow cornmeal polenta
- 1/2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- a splash of heavy cream or coconut cream
Roast and peel the bell peppers then transfer them to a small food processor together with the red wine vinegar. Process until s rustic texture forms. Se aside.
Heat up a large cast iron pot over medium low flame. Add the olive oil and onion. Saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the carrots and cook a few more minutes then add the garlic and stir.
Season the chicken legs generously with the sea salt and red pepper flakes all over. Add them to the pot with the onion and carrots. Sprinkle with the flour all over the top and toss to coat well in all the oils.
Add in the roasted pepper sauce, bay leaves and thyme and enough water to come up the sides of the chicken legs, but without covering them. Stir to combine and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover with a tight lid and simmer on very low flame for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes have passed remove the lid and simmer an addition 10 minutes or so until the sauce has reduced to your liking. Add the green peas and cook until just warmed through 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust seasonings to your taste with more sea salt and serve over the creamy polenta.
Meanwhile make the polenta by bringing 5 cups of water to a boil. Season well with sea salt and whisk in the cornmeal. Partially cover with lid and cook for about 35 minutes until thickened to your liking, making sure to stir a few times during the cooking process. Remove from heat and stir in the cream.
Divide the polenta between 4 bowl and spoon the braised chicken legs over the top surrounded by the roasted pepper sauce. Garnish with the chives.
P.S. This Orange Braised Chicken <— Gotta Make It !