Author: Canadian Living

My submission was motivated by your request for Canadian ingredients. With my love of our Canada, our summer Farmer's Markets here in Winnipeg, our own herbs grown indoors in winter and outdoors in summer, and our chickens bought from local farmers, this contest is a passionate one for me to enter. The prairie provinces are steeped with their heritage of a farming background. Meat and potatoes in very creative variety, were the simple, quality and quantity meals provided to hard-working farm families. That heritage has been carried forward and so often, even these days, I will hear I'm just a meat and potatoes type of person. In honor of my Canadian farm heritage, I have glamorized my meat and potato dish for presentation here, and I am submitting it with prairie pride!

This meat and potatoes dish is beautifully complemented with side bowls of fresh celery sticks and carrot sticks. When some potatoes are placed in the centre of the chicken leg platter, the chicken sauce may drizzle down under the potatoes. This provides some extra excitement for those who like to "experiment" with flavors.

  • Portion size 8 servings
  • Credits : reidmktg

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs new red potatoes uniform in size (approx. 3 potatoes)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped, then divided
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
  • 5/8 cups dried cranberries rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cup port wine in a dark rich amber colour (or substitute with 7 tbsp. balsamic vinegar mixed with 1 3/4 cups fresh pressed apple cider)
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 shallots thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup sodium-reduced chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves chopped and divided

Method

Preparing the potatoes:
Coat inside of crock pot with cooking spray. Mince garlic and add to olive oil. Chop parsley and add 3 tbsp. to olive oil; reserve remainder. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine potatoes with olive oil mixture. Stir gently to combine. Mix together sea salt, oregano and black pepper and sprinkle over potatoes. Stir very lightly and place contents into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours until done (time will depend on size of potatoes). Test potatoes after 3 hours.

Combine lemon juice, lemon peel, butter, remaining parsley and 4 tbsp. mint leaves. Stir into potatoes until butter melts. Cover and cook 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with remaining mint.

Make-ahead idea:
This recipe can be prepared ahead, and when done, turn off the heat and let stand, as is, covered, for up to 1-1/2 hr. It can then be re-warmed or served at room temperature.

To serve:
Transfer potatoes from slow cooker to a large mixing bowl. Pour off the drippings from the slow cooker into a pouring utensil and if desired, drizzle some over the potatoes. Place some of the potatoes from the bowl into the centre of the chicken leg platter. A separate serving bowl with remainder of potatoes can be placed on the table beside the chicken leg platter.


Preparing the chicken legs:
Wash and dry chicken legs. Place legs in a large glass dish.

With mortar and pestle, grind together coriander, peppercorns, allspice, and fennel. Add sea salt, oregano and thyme. Rub combined mixture onto both sides of chicken legs. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight.

Place cranberries and orange zest into the port, mix together, cover and place in fridge overnight. If you prefer not to use alcohol, the port can be substituted with 7 tbsp. balsamic vinegar mixed with 1-3/4 cups fresh pressed apple cider.

Remove chicken legs and port mixture from fridge.

In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, brown chicken legs (approx. 5 - 8 min. on each side). As they are browned, place in a large casserole. Drain off excess fat, leaving approx. 1 tbsp. in the skillet.

Add sliced shallots and sauté over medium heat until softened. Add port mixture to shallots and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until mixture is reduced by half (approx 15 min.) Add chicken broth.

Make-ahead suggestion:
Once you have reached this point, you can again refrigerate overnight - both the casserole of browned legs, and the reduced port mixture in a glass container.

To continue:
Pour reduced port mixture over the chicken in the casserole, and place a piece of parchment paper over the top to generously cover the casserole. Place lid on casserole. Braise in preheated over for 1 hr. Turn chicken legs over, where they are slightly above liquid. Cover casserole again and braise another 1 hr.

Transfer legs to a broiler pan, cover with parchment paper and then seal a sheet of foil over the parchment paper. Keep warm. Transfer braising liquid to a saucepan, and over medium-high heat reduce sauce until it reaches the consistency of heavy cream and coats a spoon. This can take up to 45 minutes, but check every 10 minutes for progress. Uncover chicken legs on broiler pan, and place in a preheated 475°F oven until skin is crisp (approx. 8 min.)

To serve:
Remove pan from oven and arrange legs around the outside of a very large platter. Drizzle sauce over the chicken legs.
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Braised Chicken Legs with Slow Cooker Potatoes

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