I made this wonderful thing by total mindless accident two weekends ago. It’s great right out of the pan. It’s even better reheated the next day. It’s the best when finished lazily over a campfire, as I discovered while making it again this weekend. You start with six ingredients and end up with the most perfectly glazed, fall-off-the-bone tender chicken over caramelized vegetables.
All you need is:
as many bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or legs as will fit in your cast iron skillet
a cast iron skillet
two large, roughly chopped shallots
some apple cider (I like the cloudy kind best)
a spoonful of brown sugar- think like, a scant Tablespoon
a spoonful of whatever hot sauce you’re working on (right now I have some made of chiles de arbol from Masfresco, which is pretty pungent so I only used 1 teaspoon)
roughly chopped, sturdy vegetables such as kale, cabbage, cauliflower, or carrots.
I had half a large purple cabbage on hand both times. I know cabbage isn’t the most glamorous of vegetables, but damn, if this isn’t the way to eat it.
Preheat the oven to 300. Start by patting your chicken dry and giving it a good coating of kosher salt. Put it in a cold, dry skillet, skin side down and turn the heat to medium. Render the fat out slowly. When the skin is golden brown, flip it over and add quartered shallots to cook in the fat for a minute or two.
Pour in cider until it comes about halfway up the chicken, then stir in the sugar, hot sauce and another pinch of salt. You could also add a couple cloves, star anise, bay leaf, or white peppercorns at this point if you have them. Spoon a little of the sauce over the chicken, cover the pan with tin foil and bake for at least an hour and 15 mintues, or until the chicken is very tender.
If you’re going the campfire route, simply do the next steps outside.
Okay, now remove the chicken from the pan and start boiling the cooking liquid over high until it has reduced by at least half, but ideally 2/3. Throw in your vegetables and continue cooking over high until a glaze forms, about ten minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan, turn the heat down a little, and finish the chicken skin side down in the glaze.