Every once in a while, a recipe comes along that becomes A New Classic. A regular cast member. A weekly occurrence.
These are the recipes that become committed to your memory, that you can take inventory for- off the cuff- as you stroll through the grocery store. It’s first thing that comes to mind when you see full chicken legs on sale, or a gallon of red wine vinegar at your local deli…
As I mentioned in a previous post, my dad’s Maternity Leave gift to me was his collection of Gourmet, Food & Wine and Bon Appétit magazines amassed over the last… almost 30 years. This gift served two purposes: 1) it kept me happy and busy while waiting for baby and 2) it cleared out several very large boxes from his house, boxes that my step-mum was all too happy to finally see gone (30 years worth of magazines does schmeck a bit of pack-rattery, doesn’t it?).
Among those magazines, I stumbled across April Bloomfield’s Lyon-Style Chicken in a 2011 issue of Food & Wine. I set it aside as an intriguing yet simple recipe, but didn’t think much of it.
The following week, while I was sifting through my short-listed pages, I realized I had all the ingredients for Bloomfield’s recipe and went to work.
That evening, no one spoke throughout dinner, there was only the clattering of cutlery (and, okay, some rather inappropriate sounding moans). When the plates were licked clean, everyone agreed there was only one thing that needed to be said, “Let’s make that again. Soon.”
We have since made this at least half a dozen times- no small feat considering it was only one short month ago that we discovered the recipe.
It’s so simple. So simple, guys. But so good. Much, much more than the sum of its parts.
Considering this recipe is mostly just garlic, vinegar and chicken, you might be surprised to discover this dish tastes overpoweringly of none of those things. Instead, the ingredients work together to create something entirely new. Something beautiful…
As far as the changes made to the recipe, they were minimal but work well for me. Instead of breaking down an entire chicken as Bloomfield does, I use full chicken legs, which regularly go on sale at my local shops. I break these down into thighs and drumsticks, beautiful leg meat which gives the recipe an added richness and this saves having to cook the drier breasts separately.
I upped the garlic a little as well, since it does mellow so beautifully and everyone in my family ended up fighting over those gorgeous softened cloves. Finally, as far as crème fraîche goes, I love it, but rarely have it in the house. Over several attempts, I discovered that substituting the more rare crème fraîche with your average sour cream or plain yogurt doesn’t affect the flavour of the dish in any substantial way.
In short, I have made a lot of delicious things this summer, but this one tops the list. This wins Gold. (well… maybe ties for Gold…)
Try it, you won’t be sorry. xo
|Lyonnaise Garlic Vinegar Oh-My-God Chicken|| || |
- 4 chicken legs, cut into thighs and drumsticks
- Salt and pepper
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 bay leaf
- 15 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup crème fraîche or plain yogurt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Heat a glug of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-safe dish (I love using my precious Le Creuset for this). Salt and pepper the chicken pieces then add them to the dish. Brown chicken on both sides. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, vinegar, the bay leaf and all 15 unpeeled garlic cloves to the pan and give it a swirl around.
- Turn all chicken pieces so they are skin side up and place dish in oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes, basting the chicken half way through (at the 10 minute mark).
- Remove chicken and garlic from the dish and set aside. Place dish over medium heat on the stovetop then add chicken stock and deglaze the pan. Cook until reduced by half and then turn the heat down to low. Whisk in the crème fraîche and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Return the chicken and garlic to the dish and cook on medium-high heat for an additional 5 minutes, basting the chicken frequently. Serve with rice and steamed seasonal veggies.