Braised Chicken With Rosemary, Chickpeas and Salted Lemon
This stew takes inspiration from long-simmered tagine dishes with many layers of flavors. In this weeknight version, a broth seasoned with salted lemon, rosemary and tomatoes bathes the chicken and chickpeas, making a lovely, hearty stew. For a bold and bright finish, lemon slices quick-pickled in juice and salt are added to the stew. A handful of hearty greens, a scattering of fresh herbs and a spoon of creamy yogurt ensures every bite is rich and flavorful. Serve over steamed couscous or with thick slices of crusty bread for dipping.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2 ½pounds whole chicken legs or bone-in, skin-on thighs
- 1lemon, halved lengthwise
- 1teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4garlic cloves, smashed
- 1fresh rosemary sprig
- ½cup dry white wine
- 1(15-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1(15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed
- Black pepper
- 4cups hearty greens like spinach, kale or mustard greens, trimmed and torn
- 1cup mix of fresh herbs like dill, parsley and mint
- Full-fat Greek yogurt, for serving
Step 1If using whole chicken legs, cut the joint just enough to bend the leg, and make a deep, 2-inch-long cut on the meat without cutting all the way through.
Step 2Cut one half of the lemon crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick half moons. Transfer them to a medium bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and use a fork to lightly crush the slices and release the juice. Cut the other lemon half into wedges for serving.
Step 3Pat the chicken pieces dry and season both sides with salt. In a large lidded skillet or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken pieces skin-side down, cover, and cook until the skin is golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Flip, cover and cook for another minute or two, then transfer chicken to a plate. If working in batches, add 2 more tablespoons oil to the skillet, sear the remaining chicken legs then transfer them to the plate.
Step 4Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan. Add the onions and sauté until just softened, about 2 minutes, then add the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the white wine, then add the tomatoes with their juices, crushing the tomatoes with your hands as you go. Rinse the tomato can with 1 cup water. Add the water and the chickpeas to the pan. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.
Step 5Bring to a boil, return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
Step 6Uncover the pot and transfer the chicken to bowls or a large rimmed serving platter. Add the sliced lemon plus any accumulated juices to the pot, increase the heat to medium-high and allow to thicken slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the rosemary stem, then stir in the hearty greens, remove from heat and season with additional salt if needed.
Step 7To serve, spoon the stew over the chicken legs, top with a handful of the herbs, yogurt and fresh lemon wedges for squeezing. Drizzle with olive oil, if desired, and serve with steamed couscous or slices of crusty bread for dipping.