Braising is a cooking method that can turn tough meats into tender and succulent offerings. In this case, chicken thighs on the bone coupled with verjuice and stock allows the meat to remain tender, while enhancing its natural flavours. The key to many braises is cooking low and slow, depending on the size and thickness of the meat cut used; however this recipe calls for a relatively fast preparation and cooking method. It promises to deliver great pleasing flavours and lovely golden coloured thighs for wonderful presentation.
4 chicken thighs on the bone, skin on
1 lemon and lemon peel
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 red onions chopped
20 large red, seedless grapes
2 tbsp aged red wine vinegar
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 sprigs rosemary
½ stick cinnamon
¼ cup verjuice
1 cup chicken stock
Sea salt to taste
2 tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 180C.
1. To prepare the chicken, trim off any excess skin to present the thighs neatly
2. Peel the lemon with a vegetable peeler and cut into thin strips.
4. Place a medium non stick frying pan over a medium high heat, add one tablespoon of Extra virgin olive oil and fry off the red onion and when translucent add the grapes with the remaining amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and quickly seal.
5. Then lay the onions and figs in an ovenproof dish. It is important to cook in a shallow tray so that the honeyed chicken is almost in line with the sides of the dish.
6. Add half the vinegar then place chicken thighs into the dish along with fresh thyme, 1 sprig rosemary, stripped and lemon peel. Sprinkle over the rest of the vinegar and add half of a cinnamon quill.
7. Pour quarter cup of verjuice and half a cup of stock over the chicken. Season with sea salt.
8. Strip the second sprig of rosemary and distribute over the top and drizzle the honey all over the chicken.
9. Place into the preheated oven and roast for about 30 minutes, basting occasionally, remove from oven into a small pot and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
10. Strain off the juices and reduce to a syrupy consistency and pour over the chicken.