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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Discovering the Catalan cuisine

By Jeanne ChristanoSpecial to CSMS MagazineCatalonia is a distinct region of Spain, and one area that best proves its distinction is it kitchen. And one recipe that will make the CSMS Magazine readers hungry is the one described below. 6 Servings2/3 cup dried apricots½ cup golden raisins¼ cup brandy2 tomatoes, halved3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil6 whole chicken legs (4 ½ pounds)Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper½ pound thickly sliced bacon, cut into ¼ -inch pieces2 large onions cut into ¼ -inch dice1 head of garlic, cloves peeled½ cup dry white wine3 thyme sprigs1 bay leaf2 ½ cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth¼ cup pine nuts


 1.      In a small bowl, toss the apricots and raisins with the brandy. Let stand for 30 minutes.2.      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grate the cut side of the tomatoes on a box grater set over a bowl. Discard the tomato skins.3.      In a large cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper. Add 3 legs to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining 3 legs. Pour off the fat from the casserole.4.      Add the bacon to the casserole and cook over moderate heat until browned, about 6 minutes. Spoon off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat from the casserole. Add the onions and garlic cloves to the bacon and cook until the onions begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in the dried-fruit mixture, tomatoes, wine, thyme sprigs and bay leaf and boil over high heat for 1 minute. Pour in the chicken stock.5.      Return the chicken legs to the casserole, skin side up, and bring to a boil. Transfer the casserole to the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thicken, about 40 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.6.      Meanwhile, in a small, dry skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly golden, about 3 minutes.7.      Transfer the chicken to a platter, Spoon the sauce around the chicken, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and serve.Also see Chipotle Grilled Chicken with Avocado SalsaBlueberry Meringue TartsHave you tried grilled turkey burgers with avocado mayonnaise?Note: Jeanne Christano is chef de cuisine at a restaurant in Seattle, Washington. She wrote this piece exclusively for CSMS Magazine.

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