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Chicken Legs with Braised Peas and Onions

Updated February 23, 2016
(1 Votes)

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Mark Sargeant, my head chef at Claridge's, in London, and general right-hand man, considers this his most favorite dish. The braised peas and onions are similar to petits pois à la française, a French classic that even featured on Mark's retro menu for his wedding reception—served with homemade sausages and mash.

Serves4

Cooking Methodbraising

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationmain course

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturemeaty, savory

Ingredients

  • 4 large, free-range chicken legs, each 10-12 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 fat garlic clove, skin on, lightly crushed
  • 1½ tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 7 ounces pearl onions, peeled (about 1½ cups)
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4 cups green peas, thawed if frozen
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 romaine heart, shredded

Instructions

Trim any excess fat from the chicken legs. Heat the oil in a large frying pan until hot. Season the chicken legs all over with salt and pepper, then fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Add the thyme, garlic, butter, and water to the pan. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan, and braise until the chicken legs are tender, 30-40 minutes. Turn the legs over halfway through the cooking.

About 15 minutes before the chicken is ready, melt the butter in another pan and tip in the onions. Toss well and cook over medium to low heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender, 8-10 minutes. Add the thyme sprigs, peas, and water. Season well. Simmer until the peas are tender and most of the water has evaporated, 5-6 minutes. Add the lettuce and stir until just wilted, about 1 minute longer.

Spread the braised peas and onions on a large serving platter and arrange the glazed chicken legs on top. Serve immediately.

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This dish is delicious, definitely a crowd-pleaser.

This is a great spring dish, one I remember from my (long ago) childhood here and in Europe. Looking at it today, I'm thinking maybe it would be great for quail and other game birds so easily available these days in the market's freezer.

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