• Braised Petaluma Farms Free-Range Chicken with Buckwheat Groats and Braised Lacinato Kale with Balsamic Reduction

    2 chickens, approximately 3 1/2 pounds each, cut into 8 portions each – separate legs from thighs and cut breasts in half – washed and patted dry
    4 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat (or duck fat)
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    1 cup chicken stock
    3 ounces tomato paste
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper

    For the Marinade:
    2 onions, peeled, sliced very thinly on a mandolin
    8 cloves garlic, peeled, grated on a microplane
    2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane
    1/2 cup fresh lime juice
    1 teaspoon Kosher salt
    1 teaspoon fresh-cracked pepper

    To marinate, place the chicken in a large non-reactive bowl. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and pour over the chicken pieces. Mix well so that all the chicken is coated. Marinade for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Heat the fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add as many chicken pieces that will fit in the skillet and brown evenly on all sides. Repeat until all pieces are browned. Hold browned chicken in a large roasting pan or casserole.

    Deglaze skillet with marinade and scrape the pan well. Add the white wine, stock, tomato paste, and cayenne. Whisk together until well mixed and bring to a hard boil. Immediately pour over chicken, cover the pan tightly with foil and place in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer placed in the thigh reads 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and strain all cooking liquid into a small sauce pan. Keep the chicken warm until ready to serve.

    Reduce the braising liquid to 2 cups, add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken and hold until ready to serve.

    For the Buckwheat Groats:
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 parsnips, peeled and diced small
    1 small red onion, peeled and diced small
    1 1/2 cups buckwheat groats, rinsed and drained
    3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
    Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper
    1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped coarsely

    Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add parsnips and onion and cook until just fragrant. Add the groats and stock and stir all together. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Drop heat to low simmer, cover pot with lid. Cook for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, remove lid and fluff groats with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.

    Before serving, remove lid and stir in chopped parsley.

    For the Braised Kale:
    6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
    8 each garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly
    3 bunches lacinato kale, ribs removed and cut in 1-inch pieces
    Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper
    1 cup vegetable stock
    3 ounces balsamic vinegar

    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add kale and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Drop the heat and simmer. Add the vinegar and continue to simmer until the liquid is gone. Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.

    To serve:
    Serve the main course “family style.”

    • *Epicurean Tip
      Reserve That Duck Fat!

      Reserve that duck fat! It’s delicious for cooking potatoes as a side dish or to season stocks and sauces.

    • *Epicurean Tip
      This Mandoline Is Tuned to “Be Sharp”

      There is a wide variety of mandoline slicers on the market for home or commercial use. It is an invaluable tool and produces thin, even slices. Some come with different blades for julienne, baton or wavy cut (you can make waffle slices with the wavy cut, first go in one direction while slicing then rotate slightly to get a criss-cross cut). These tools are extremelysharp and must be used with the holder provided or a “cut glove” to prevent injury.

    • *Epicurean Tip

      To deglaze a pan, add liquid and scrape bottom of pan until pan is clean and scrapings are incorporated into liquid.