Guest Chef: Doug Simon, Executive Chef, The Casino at Lakemont
Servings: 3-4 Difficulty: Moderate Cook Time: 30-60 min
Ingredients to Marinate the Chicken (can be done up to two (2) days in advance)
2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs and legs, cut in half
1 large lemon, for zest and juice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves plus sprigs for garnish
6 to 8 large cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon blended oil (20% EVO and 80% Canola)
1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped
each red and green pepper, cut to " diamond shapes
3 to 4 medium to hot cherry peppers, diced
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 cup white wine
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper, to taste during cooking
Marinating the Chicken
Begin by washing and patting dry the pieces of chicken. Cut each piece in half using a cleaver or heavy knife, discarding excess fat and the bone tips from the legs. Place the chicken pieces into a large bowl that will allow for mixing in additional ingredients. Peel or zest the lemon. If using a peeler, remove only the peel, not the pith (white interior) and julienne finely. Add half the zest to the chicken and reserve the remainder for when you finish the dish. Cut the peeled lemon in half, squeezing out the juice of one half onto the chicken and reserve the remaining half. Add the garlic cloves, olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, rosemary leaves, oregano and dried sage and mix thoroughly.
Cover at least 4 hours although 24 to 48 hours will make it even better. Between two and three times a day, unwrap the chicken and toss thoroughly; return plastic wrap to cover.
Take a large saute pan -- this will prevent a lot of the fat from splattering all around the oven top -- and add the cup of blended oil. While the oil is heating up over a medium flame, take the chicken out of the marinade and shake off as much of the herbs and liquid as possible. These herbs may burn during cooking imparting unwanted flavors to the dish.
When the oil is just smoking, add each piece of chicken slowly, skin-side down, sliding them into the oil with enough space to allow for cooking all of the pieces of chicken at one time.
Make sure to use a pan large enough so that the chicken can sit in the oil without overlapping any other piece. Do not turn the chicken over until it is very brown and crusty; this can take at least 5 to 8 minutes. Once the chicken is very brown and crusty, turn the pieces over, and continue cooking the other side until once again, all sides are all very brown and crusty.
While the chicken is browning, add the marinated garlic cloves to the pan, cooking them until they are brown and tender as well.
Once the chicken is very brown and crusty, remove the chicken pieces and the garlic into an oven-proof baking dish and place into an oven to either continue cooking or keep warm on a low heat. With the saute pan that was used for browning the chicken, empty and discard the oil.
Heat the pan over a medium to high flame and toss in one tablespoon of blended oil. Cook the chopped shallots, cut peppers and diced cherry peppers for about 2 minutes until tender. For a little extra spice, add the hot pepper flakes. Add the remaining lemon zest and the chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
When the peppers are tender add the chicken and garlic back to the pan and deglaze by adding the white wine and cooking for 30 seconds over high heat.
Add the chicken stock and juice from the remaining half lemon, reduce until the liquid becomes dark and the taste is strong.
At this point, on lower heat, add the remaining butter and adjust seasoning as needed. Remove the chicken from the pan and place onto a platter or plate one piece at a time, then pour the peppers and sauce over the chicken. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.
Chef's Note: A great accompaniment to this dish is a pasta like penne or cavatappi. You can add the pasta to the dish just as the sauce is finishing then serve immediately.