Thursday, December 17, 2009

Curry Glazed Chicken Legs and Walnut Apple Salsa

By now we all know I'll use any excuse to put curry on anything so curried poultry with a side of apple salsa screamed “make me now” and “oh my god perfect cold weather meal” all at the same time.  The original recipe called for duck legs which I'm sure would have been delicious but I'm simple and cheap so substituted in less fatty and far less pricey chicken parts with just as amazing results. 

And as the fella, the chef, and I found out before our wacky wine party last weekend this is the perfect recipe to make just before a get together because it is the gift that keeps giving.  The fella and I ate the chicken and a bit of the salsa for dinner the night before, the three of us ate the left overs, there was a gloriously large amount of salsa left over to serve the guests with some blue corn chips, and the curried chicken fat that we poured off the meat got added to a polenta the chef threw together.  Which isn't even to yet mention how amazing all of the parts of this meal were. 

The spicy tender lightly curried chicken is crispy and delicious.  The salsa is mind boggling in it's greatness.  It's just spicy enough and the crisp apples mixed with the crunchy walnuts is something we all loved so much we were slapping our foreheads at not thinking of it before.  Walnut and apple salsa may be my new favorite condiment.  I can't recommend it enough.  And that polenta the spicy chicken fat went into was amazing not to mention purple.  I highly approve of all things purple.  But that's for Jacob to blog about (the polenta not my fetish for purple objects.)

 Curry Glazed Chicken Legs

4 to 6 chicken legs
3 cloves garlic
2 minced jalapeños
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 orange, zested
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice (from about 4 limes)
1 cup chicken stock.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and pat the chicken legs dry with paper towels.

Using a food processor blend the garlic, jalapeños, curry, ginger, zest and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in enough olive oil to make a paste, 2 to 3 tablespoons.

Rub the paste into the chicken legs, season with salt and pepper and place in a large roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour to render the fat. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Pour off the fat and reserve for another use (such as creating a spicy chicken and blue corn polenta.)

Pour the orange juice, lime juice and chicken stock over and around the duck pieces and cover the pan loosely with parchment paper or foil. Return to the oven for 45 minutes to tenderize the meat.

Transfer the chicken legs to a platter. Scrape the edges of the pan with a spoon to incorporate the caramelized bits into the juices. Strain. Taste the pan juices and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Keep warm. Just before serving, crisp the duck in a hot oven for 15 minutes. Spoon the pan juices over the duck legs and serve with walnut apple salsa.

Walnut Apple Salsa

1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 limes)
2 tart apples, peeled and cored
1 small onion, finely diced
A handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced, seeds reserved
1 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted.

Pour the lime juice into a medium bowl. Finely dice the apples and toss with the onion in the juice.

Add the cilantro, peppers, ginger and agave nectar, tossing until well combined. Season with salt to taste. Add back some of the reserved jalapeño seeds to adjust heat of salsa.

Just before serving, add the walnuts.
Original recipe from New York Times Magazine.


denisegetsemail said...

Not really a comment but a question; I want to try this... really... but it seems like an awfully long time to cook chicken/duck legs??? Sort of a novice cook here. Anyway... really? 2 hours of cooking? If I have read this wrong - which is possible - I humbly apologize. If not... just reassure me its worth it. I'm going to try it with the duck so i don't want to over cook that little devil. Thanks~

Emily said...

It's a very valid question. Thanks for bringing it up.

I thought it was a little too long for the chicken pieces, they probably don't need the entire second 45 minutes for crisping. My fella did the cooking on this one so I'm not positive on exactly how long he actually cooked the chicken so I left in the original times.

If you make these (which I hope you do as they are really yummy) let me know how long you cooked them and I'll be sure to alter the recipe if 2ish hours is too much.

Happy cooking.