When I break down a whole chicken, I like to do various things with the component parts. I may roast the legs or the breast like I would a whole chicken. I may braise and broil the wings and toss in sauce like it’s Pub Night at Home. I may remove the bones from the breast, cut into strips and make chicken fingers. Or I may braise the legs to serve with mashed potatoes or on an open faced sandwich with the braising veggies and juices puréed into a gravy. Today, I wanted the typical flavours of a roast chicken, but in the super moist environment. Make lots because the leftovers are great on salads, pizza or many other recipes where you need cooked chicken!!
Garlic Sage Braised Chicken Legs
2 tsp oil
2 whole chicken legs (thigh and drumstick attached)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped parsnip
1 chopped and seeded jalapeño
10 cloves chopped garlic
1-1/4 cups water
1-2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp dried sage
1/2 tsp celery seeds
In a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat, add the oil. When the oil is smouldering but not smoking add the chicken legs, skin side down. Sear for 4-6 minutes on one side until deeply golden. Flip and sear the other side for 3-4 minutes.
Add the onion, celery, carrots, parsnips and jalapeño. Stir and sauté for 3-4 minutes to soften the vegetables. Add the water, bay leaves, sage and celery seeds. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-medium low, cover with a lid and simmer for 60-90 minutes. Check the braising every 20 minutes or so to ensure the liquid hasn’t evaporated, adding 1/4 cup water if necessary.
When the chicken is cooked and falling off the bone, transfer the chicken legs to a plate and keep warm. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Transfer the veggies and braising juices to a blender and purée until smooth. Serve the shredded chicken and blender gravy with mashed potatoes, rice or over thick bread as an open faced sandwich. Serves 2-3.