an aromatic and comforting recipe for crispy coconut braised chicken legs in a stew of hand crushed tomatoes, kale and potatoes
- 4 whole chicken legs
- 3 tbs olive oil, plus more if needed
- 1 can whole peeled san Marzano tomatoes
- 1 small bunch of kale, washed and torn into small pieces
- 10 small potatoes peeled
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro stems and leaves finely chopped
- 1 tbs yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- Juice from 1/2 a lime
- 1/2 can of coconut milk
- Cilantro and green onion for garnish
- Salt and pepper
- rice to serve alongside stew
- preheat the oven to 425.
- thoroughly dry chicken legs and season liberally with salt and pepper. add 3 tbs olive oil to a large skillet and bring to medium high heat. once oil is hot add 2 chicken legs skin side down and cook untouched for about 4-6 minutes or until the chicken easily lifts from pan and the skin is golden. turn and cook on the other side for another 4 minutes, move to a plate and repeat with the other two legs adding more olive oil to the pan if necessary.
- while chicken is cooking (or before if you like) prep kale, potatoes, onion, garlic and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems (you could also chop cilantro leaves for garnish at this time as well). cover potatoes in cold water to keep from turning brown.
- once all of the chicken legs are browned drain the oil from the pan but do not wash. reduce heat to medium, add butter and sliced onion along with 1 or 2 tbs water to deglaze the pan. scrape up brown bits and cook onion until it is translucent and starting to brown.
- add garlic, mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric and chili flakes. stir and cook for about a minute or until all the spices are very aromatic. add the chopped cilantro stems, potatoes, kale and tomatoes with their juices – lightly crushing the tomatoes in your hand as you add them to the pan. fill the tomato can about 1/3 of the way with water, swirling to get the remaining tomato juices from the can and add to the pan.
- slightly increase heat and bring liquid to a simmer, making sure the potatoes are submerged as much as possible in the liquid. cover and cook for about 10 minutes (maybe a little more), or just long enough so that the kale is all wilted and potatoes have started to cook.
- stir in coconut milk, lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. start with about 1/2 tsp salt and go up from there depending on your taste.
- carefully move contents of skillet to a roasted pan and nestle chicken legs into stew leaving the skin side up and above the liquid line so it stays crispy.
- move to the oven and set a timer for 35 minutes.
- cook white rice according to package instructions while the chicken finishes cooking.
- after 35 minutes remove from the oven and pierce chicken with a knife to peek inside or insert a meat thermometer to make sure it’s fully cooked. if not cook a little bit longer in 10 minute increments.
- once fully cooked broil for 1 or 2 more minutes to re-crisp up the skin (being so careful not to let it burn! after all this work that would be sad).
- garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions and serve with rice or another grain of choice.
- Category: dinner