After a bit of a break to end the year with family for Christmas, I was musing over how to deal with some chicken parts. I usually buy my chickens whole and butcher it myself. That way I can have the carcass to make my own stock (which I freeze in 2 cup allotments for future use) and control the cuts. If I want a whole, bone-in chicken breast, I can do that. Sometimes I use the wings in my stock. It adds a rich flavour to the stock from the extra cartilaginous bits attached. This time, I thought I’d use them in the slow cooker to augment a flavourful sauce for chicken legs. I was standing over my morning toast before loading my slow cooker this morning and it went sweet, savoury and sticky: Sticky Sweet and Sour Cherry Chicken.
SWEET AND SOUR CHERRY CHICKEN – TWO WAYS
2 Sunshine Organic chicken legs (thigh and drumstick attached)
2 Sunshine Organic chicken wings (wingette, drumette and tips attached)
1/2 cup Rainbow Acres Pantry sour cherry jam
1/2 cup Coal Lake Honey Farms mixed flower honey
1/2 cup vinegar (I use pickling vinegar because it is slightly more acidic lending a more tart flavour overall)
1/4 cup Rainbow Acres Pantry dried sour cherries
1/2 cup August Organics chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cups chicken stock (I use homemade)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1-1/2 cups Doef’s Greenhouses sweet bell peppers, sliced
In a medium zip bag, add the chicken legs and wings, jam, honey and vinegar. Massage the flavours into the chicken pieces.
Add the chicken pieces and the flavourful marinade to a slow cooker with the onion, celery, dried cherries, chicken stock and salt and pepper.
Cover the slow cooker and simmer for 8 hours. When it is done, remove the chicken pieces and set aside to cool.
Ladle the juices and simmered fruit and vegetables into a blender and purée until smooth. Transfer the purée to a wide-bottomed pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sliced bell peppers and simmer for another 5 minutes. Shred the meat from the bones, discarding the skin, bone and cartilage.
Stir into the simmering sauce and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
OPTION #1: MAIN DISH
Serve over cooked rice:
OPTION #2: CHEESE COURSE
Serve over whole milk ricotta (my recipe for homemade whole milk ricotta is here):
Serves 4-6 in either course.