To make the most of tender spring vegetables, it’s important to use a gentle touch at the stove. This results in a more delicious dish, and it usually takes much less work. This simple braise of chicken legs and spring vegetables is a great example. Though the chicken cooks for 30 minutes in chicken stock, the vegetables steam in the same pot for just a few minutes.
For maximum flavor, we brown the chicken in a heavy pan before deglazing with a bit of white wine. This adds all the flavorful browned bits to the sauce. If you prefer chicken breasts over dark meat, you certainly could substitute them for the legs. For best flavor, opt for bone-in.
For the sauce, we use chicken stock rather than broth. Stocks are made with the flavorful bones, so they often have a deeper flavor than broths. You also can get stocks completely unsalted, unlike broths. This allows you to control the sodium you add to your dish. You should be able to find stocks alongside the broths and soups at the grocer.
Broccolini looks like baby broccoli on long, thin stalks. It’s a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese kale, but with a mild, slightly peppery flavor.
BRAISED CHICKEN LEGS WITH SPRING VEGETABLES
Start to finish: 1 hour (30 minutes active)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
4 chicken legs, skin and excess fat removed (can substitute a mix of drumsticks and thighs)
Salt and ground black pepper
2 large sweet onions, quartered
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups no-salt chicken stock