Escarole is the queen of chicories in my opinion, although her sisters--curly endiver (or frisee), radicchio, and Treviso--can be used in this dish. Slow-simmering the greens with aromatics and juices from the chicken turns them indescribably tender and sweet. The piquancy of lemons and olives offsets that. Serve this with slices of toasted, garlic-rubbed bread.
Recipe courtesy of One-bowl Meals by Tonia George; photography by William Reavell
|1 roasting chicken (4 to 5 pounds), cut up, legs split into drumsticks and thighs and breasts halved||1/2 cup dry white wine|
|Kosher salt||1 head escarole, core trimmed and leaves coarsely chopped|
|8 whole shallots||1 lemon, very thinly sliced, seeds removed|
|6 garlic cloves||1 cup black oil-cured olives (with pits) or pitted kalamata olives|
Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Coat the bottom of a 5- to 7-quart Dutch oven with a thin film of the oil and set over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add chicken, skin sides down, without crowding; do in batches if necessary. Cook until skin is golden brown and chicken pieces release easily from pot when lifted with tongs, about 5 minutes. Turn pieces over and cook until they are brown and release easily on the other side, about 5 minutes more. Transfer browned chicken to a plate.
While chicken is browning, peel the shallots and trim off root ends. Peel the garlic.
When last batch of chicken has been removed, put shallots and garlic in pot and stir for about 30 seconds until fragrant; sprinkle with a little salt. Pour in the wine, stirring to release browned bits. Shake pot to spread out shallots and garlic. Add the escarole, but do not stir. Cover pot and let escarole wilt, about 5 minutes. Arrange the lemon slices in 1 layer over escarole; do not stir. Sprinkle with a little salt. Arrange chicken, with any accumulated juices, on top of lemons; do not stir. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until chicken is opaque at the bone, about 45 minutes. Turn off heat.
Scatter the olives over chicken and, with a large spoon, gently stir contents of pot. Cover pot again and let stand for about 10 minutes to warm olives, then divide chicken, vegetables, and olives among shallow pasta plates or bowls and spoon juices over.
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