Crispy Chicken Au Poivre with Miso and Creme Fraiche

SERVES: 3-4

Here’s what happens when you mash up one of France’s greatest inventions: au poivre (a creamy cracked black peppercorn sauce typically served on steak) with another one of it’s best known dishes: roast chicken, and then switch things up a bit with the never-not-welcome addition of miso paste. L and G’s, introducing your new favorite weeknight chicken dish.

Active Time: 45 Mins

Total Time: 45 minutes

Chicken

Produce

  • 2 large shallots (3 ounces)
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch chives

Pantry

  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons red or white miso
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry

Dairy

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup creme fraiche

Protein

  • 3 bone-in skin-on chicken legs (quarters) or 6 thighs

1. Season the chicken:

  • Preheat the oven to 425. Pat 3 chicken legs or 6 chicken thighs dry and season all over with salt. You can do this up to 24 hours in advance, honestly, the longer they sit with seasoning the better. If seasoning ahead, keep chilled.

2. Prep the au poivre sauce:

  • Peel and finely chop 2 medium shallots.
  • Peel and thinly slice 5 garlic cloves. Set these aside together in a bowl
  • Finely chop 1 bunch chives.
  • Place 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns in a small resealable bag and whack with a rolling pin to coarsely crack them.

3. Sear, simmer, cook:

  • Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and set over medium heat. Immediately add the chicken, skin side down and cook over medium heat, undisturbed, and moving the chicken only if it looks like the skin is burning in some areas, until deeply golden brown and crisp, 12-15 minutes. If some are crisping more quickly than others, rotate the skillet to allow areas that aren't getting as much love to hit the hotter spots of the burner. Transfer the chicken to a large plate, skin side up. Turn off the heat.
  • Tip out or spoon out and discard any accumulated fat in the pan. Return the pan to the medium low heat and add 3 tablespoons of butter. The pan will still be really hot and the butter should melt quickly. Once melted, add the peppercorns, shallots and garlic and a big pinch of salt. Cook over medium low, stirring occasionally so the aromatics don’t burn, until really soft and cooked down, about 5-7 minutes. If it looks like the garlic is burning, turn the heat down; this process should take some time.
  • Once jammy, stir in 3 tablespoons miso paste and 3 tablespoons sherry. Cook, increasing the heat a tad if needed to bring the sauce to a bare simmer, stirring to incorporate the miso into the wine sauce until it has all been incorporated and the sherry has mostly cooked off, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, and stir in ½ cup tap water (room temp is good). Nestle the chicken legs back into the skillet, skin side up and transfer to oven to finish cooking. Set a timer for 8 minutes. If after 8 minutes the skillet looks dry, add another few splashes of water – you want the chicken to be sitting in a thin layer of sauce. Return to the oven and cook until the sauce is thick and burbling and most of the liquid has evaporated but the skillet is not dry and the aromatics are not stuck to the bottom, 8-11 minutes longer (if cooking whole legs, you’ll want to leave them in for 11 minutes, if making thighs, 8 or 9 minutes will suffice).

4. Finish:

  • Remove the skillet from the oven and place on the stovetop. Transfer the chicken to the large plate again to make some room in the skillet. While still hot, stir in ½  cup creme fraiche and all of the sliced chives, until very well combined. You are not working over any heat here, the heat of the skillet will be enough to warm the creme fraiche and loosen the sauce. Taste and add more salt if needed. Return the chicken legs to the sauce and serve right out of the skillet or transfer to a serving platter. if you want to maintain that crispy shattery skin, don’t spoon the sauce on top or it will reverse all the work you did to get there!

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