PX Chicken, Braised Fennel, Orange & Raisins
I whipped this up one night on a whim. I’d been looking at Milli Taylor’s cooking in Spain and began to reminisce over past holidays and the food we ate. Little cafes down dark alleyways serving up the most tender, juicy, sweet chicken, cooked for hours yielding soft flesh. On the south coast, dishes are studded with Andalusian raisins and Seville oranges giving pops of zest and sweetness. It’s all here in this simple braise. It’s an absolute winner.
3 Each Chicken Drumsticks & Thighs
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Bulb Garlic
1 Orange, ½ zested & Juiced, ½ cut into ¼ wedges
150ml Pedro Ximenez Sherry
2 Bulbs Fennel, chopped lengthways into ¼ wedges
400ml Chicken Stock (if made from powder omit/ adjust salt accordingly)
1 tsp Salt
Good Grind Black Pepper
· Preheat oven 180C. Cut the top of the garlic bulb and lay on a lined roasting tin with the peppers. Drizzle over 1 tbsp Olive Oil and roast for 30-40 minutes or until soft and yielding and the peppers are lightly charred.
· Add the raisins and 50ml of the PX to a pan and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat off, cover with a lid and let the raisins soak up all that wonderful flavour.
· Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a large sauté pan and add the chicken skin side down. Reduce the heat to medium and brown the chicken on all sides without burning. Its important to render most of the fat from the skin so your sauce doesn’t end up greasy later. You made need to reduce the heat a little more so that it doesn’t burn. Take your time over this step as the deep caramelisation on the chicken will give the dish so much flavour.
· When the chicken is browned, set it aside in a dish and add the fennel wedges. Again, brown lightly and remove from the pan and add with the chicken. Drain off the oil and discard.
· Deglaze the pan with the remaining PX, taking care to scrape off all those crunchy nuggets of flavour. Bubble for 1 minute before adding the stock and orange juice. squeeze out the soft garlic cloves, lightly mash with a fork and mix this all in.
· Add the fennel back to the pan and then the chicken, skin side up. Nestle the orange wedges amongst the chicken and pop on a lid.
· Braise in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft and cooked through. Remove the lid and cook 5-10 minutes more to tighten up the chicken skin again.
· Add the orange zest, taste and season with salt & pepper if needed.
Serve with the roasted peppers and plenty of bread for soaking up all those juices