March 4, 2009 at 9:38AM
By Shauna James Ahern
And Twitter gave us this meal.
A few days ago, when I was sitting on Twitter instead of finishing an essay, fabulous Deb of Smitten Kitchen wrote that she had three blood oranges left over. What should she do with them? Eager to take a break from sitting, I ran into the kitchen, where the Chef was cooking and Little Bean was bouncing in her chair. Bending down to kiss her head, I asked him, "What would you do with three blood oranges?"
He thought for a moment, and then said, "a sauce with duck stock, creme de cassis, kiwis, and the blood oranges. Serve it with duck breast and wild rice."
I just stared at him. How does he do this?
We didn't have any duck or creme de cassis, but we had the rest. (He gathered his ideas from what he saw spread out on the kitchen table.) And so, we had this dinner that night.
So can you. I recommend it. It's just so good.
The Chef calls for a "dark chicken stock" in this recipe, which is simply a chicken stock in which you roast the bones before you blanch them. Feel free to substitute at will.
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 onion, fine diced
2 teaspoons garlic, thinly sliced
1 small nub lemongrass (about size of your thumb), smashed
1 1/2 cups Italian black rice
4 cups dark chicken stock
4 whole chicken legs, drumstick and thigh combined
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups dark chicken stock
2 cups mixed mushrooms, ideally whatever is at the farmers' market in this moment
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, fine chopped
2 kiwis, peeled and quartered
4 blood oranges, peeled and supremed
zest of 4 blood oranges
1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Bring 2 cups of the chicken stock to a boil.
2. Pour the sesame oil into the large saucepan. Put in half the onion, half the garlic, and lemongrass. Stir the vegetables briefly to coat them with the oil, and then cook until the onion and garlic are soft and translucent. Pour in the black rice, followed by the hot chicken stock. Simmer the rice, stirring once in a while, until it is tender, about 20 minutes. If there is any liquid left over, strain it. Set the rice aside on a back burner, covered.
3. Put in 1 tablespoon each of butter and canola. Lay 3 pieces of the soaked bread in the pan. Brown each on one side. Put the slices on a plate, browned side down. Add more oil and butter. Brown the last 3 pieces of bread. Lay those slices, browned side down, on the plate as well.
4. Smear each chicken leg with oil. Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper.
5. Bring a large sauté pan to heat. Pour in 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. When the oil is hot enough to run around the pan, put the chicken legs in the pan and slide it into the oven. After 10 minutes, turn down the temperature of the oven to 425 degrees F. Roast the chicken until the internal temperature of the leg, right at the joint, has reached 185 degrees F, about 25 minutes. You'll also be able to tell by the warm roasty smell emanating from the onion, enticing you over.
5. Remove the chicken from the oven and place the legs on a plate in a warm place, nestled next to the rice.
6. Drain the grease from the chicken pan. Pour in the the rice wine vinegar and honey and cook it on medium-high until the liquid has reduced by 1/2 its volume. Pour the chicken stock into the pan. Allow the stock to reduce. When the sauce begins to thicken, about 10 minutes, swirl in the butter.
7. Bring a large sauté pan to high heat. Pour in the remaining canola oil. Put the mushrooms into the hot oil. Cook them quickly, stirring occasionally, until they have some color and have wilted a little bit under the heat. Put in the remaining onion and garlic. Cook for a few moments until the onion and garlic are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Throw in the thyme and cook until the herb starts to release its fragrance, about 1 minute. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper.
8. Mix the mushrooms and rice together.
To serve, make a mound of the mushroom-filled rice on each plate. Perch a chicken leg on top of the rice. Swirl some of the sauce around the plate. Place the fruit in the sauce. Top with the blood orange zest.
Suggestions: you can also make this dish throughout the different seasons. Use figs and pears. Mangoes. Raisins and prunes. Grapefruit segments. Whatever you imagine might be good.