Added by tonemid | Thu 25 Jun 2009 @ 17:41
Real comfort food!
For the chicken confit:
4 organic chicken legs
4 g coarse salt per 250 g of chicken
1/8 tsp thyme
4 peppercorns, roughly chopped
4 juniper berries, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh, each torn into two halves
3 garlic cloves, sliced
Plenty of cheap olive oil
For the sauce:
Tiny knob of butter
2 garlic cloves
Splash of white wine
Chicken stock (or jus)
Swiss chard leaves, finely chopped
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Finely chopped parsley
For the mezzaluna filling:
Chicken confit, shredded
Freshly grated Parmesan
Fresh chervil, finely chopped
Reconstituted dried cep with soaking liquids
Fresh button mushrooms, cleaned, minced and fried
Salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper
First weigh your chicken legs in order to determinate how much salt you should use. (There is no need to be meticulous about this; the íformulaí above has quite a bit of leeway to both sides.) Sprinkle the chicken all over with salt and thyme. Distribute peppercorns and juniper berries evenly over the chicken pieces. Press one half bay leaf and several garlic slivers onto the fleshy side of each leg. Arrange the chicken legs in a non-reactive container, cover with plastic film, and refrigerate overnight, or upto 48 hours.
Preheat the oven to 90C. Rinse the chicken legs thouroughly, and pat dry with kitchen paper. Pack tightly in an ovenproof pan, and cover completely with olive oil.Bring to a simmer over a low heat. Place in the oven, uncovered, and cook for 3-4 hours, or until the fat has become clear, and the meat tender.
Carefully lift the chicken legs out of the fat. Place them in a deep, narrow dish. Pour in enough poaching fat to cover, and then a bit more. Make sure that the jus that have accumulated at the bottom keep in place, and that they donít blend in with the fat. Pour the remaining fat (with the jus, and now they may well be happily blended in) into a glass bowl. Refrigerate both.
The next day (or a couple of days later) remove both dishes from the fridge. Scrape off as much fat as possible from the glass bowl, and place in the fridge. Let the chicken sit in room temperature until the oil is nearly liquid. Lift the chicken legs out of the oil, and place on a plate.
Combine the oil from the fridge and the oil from the chicken in a saucepan. Slowly bring to the boil. Strain and refrigerate. This chicken-flavoured olive oil is an excellent cooking medium for meat, and even more so for potatoes.
Also bring the gelatinous jus from the bottom of the bowl to the boil. Strain and freeze, or use for the sauce below.
Pull the meat off the chicken legs. Shred finely.
For the sauce:
Sweat garlic in butter until soft. Add wine, and reduce by half. Stir in chicken stock and bring to the boil. Add chard, and cook until wilted. Blend with a wand. Add lemon juice, and season to taste. Stir in parsley, and add loads of black pepper.
For the mezzalunas themselves:
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Place onto rounds of pasta dough, and fold over. Use a fork to close them properly. Cook until done. Serve with chard sauce. Sprinkle some parsley over the top.