Chicken legs, fino sherry & olives

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Such a simple meal went down a storm this evening. I’ve just walked in on Scott practically bathing in the casserole pan to devour any hint of leftover juices. I think it’s the anchovies. You could pretty much add them to any sort of sauce in place of seasoning and you get an extra punch that plain old salt doesn’t give you. A large amount of fino sherry  certainly helped too.

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There’s not much else to this! It’s really only dependent on getting yourself some decent olives and here I chose a variety of different kinds – bright green caselvetranos, plump purple Greek olives, tiny pitted super soft black olives.. you could really taste the individual qualities of each in the finished dish.

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You will need:

2 small white onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 free range corn fed chicken legs
300g your favourite olives (I used a mix of all sorts of favourites which gives a nice variety)
1 tin anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained (about 10 fillets)
400ml fino sherry
2-300ml chicken stock
150g green beans, trimmed and halved
1 tspn crushed fennel seeds
Handful basil
Olive oil

Method:

  1. Grab a ceramic casserole dish and heat up around 1tbspn olive oil; once hot, add the skin legs skin side down
  2. Brown the chicken on both sides so that the fatty skin releases it’s juices and crisps up
  3. Once brown, remove the chicken from the pan and remove the skin (discard if dieting or snaffle if not!) before returning the chicken to the pan for another 30 seconds just to brown up a little on the side you removed the skin from
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the onions; cook these gently in the chicken fat for a few minutes or so, scraping the juices off the bottom of the pan
  5. Add the garlic, fennel and anchovies and cook for a minute before returning the chicken to the pan along with the sherry
  6. Turn up the heat to let the sherry bubble away and add the olives to the pan whilst the sherry cooks away
  7. Once the sherry has nearly all evaporated, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer and covering the pan
  8. Leave to cook for 20 minutes over a very gentle heat then add the beans to the pan and remove the lid for the final 5 minutes; turn up the heat a little to reduce the stock if needed
  9. While the beans cook, add 1 tbspn of olive oil to a mortar and pestle and add your basil leaves; pound together into a rough paste
  10. Serve the chicken with plenty of juices and a little crushed basil. This would be perfect with potatoes or even bread to soak up the lovely salty chicken juices

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