Chicken in Almond Butter Sauce

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Recipe by Julie Biuso
Serves 8 or more

Almond butter forms a rich and nutty sauce in this Spanish-style dish. It’s nicely underpinned with smoked paprika and green olives and offset with fresh notes of citrus. Serve with mash, and kale or cavolo nero.

1½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
2 kg chicken drumsticks, wings and boneless thighs
3 Tbsp standard flour
5-6 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp chopped rosemary
½ cup dry white wine
1cup chicken stock
1 orange
1 lemon, plus extra for wedges
½ cup slivered almonds
Flaky sea salt
2 Tbsp each orange and lemon juice
½ cup Pic’s Almond Butter
½ cup warm water
¾ cup pitted green olives
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 180°C, setting a shelf in the lower third of the oven.

1 – Mix smoked paprika with ¾ teaspoon of salt. Set aside. Remove fat from chicken joints. Put flour and ¼ teaspoon of salt in a clean plastic bag and add chicken joints. Shake to coat chicken with flour.

2 – Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry floured chicken joints in batches, putting thighs smooth side down and wings flat side down, until a good golden colour. Add more oil if pan becomes dry. Transfer chicken joints to a large casserole as they are browned and sprinkle with paprika and salt.

3 – In a separate smallish frying pan add 1 tablespoon oil and the onion. Cover pan with a lid and cook gently until onion is tender and starting to brown, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in garlic and rosemary, cook briefly, then pour in white wine. Swirl wine around pan and cook for a minute or two. Stir in stock, bring to a bubble, then transfer contents of pan to casserole, spooning onion around chicken joints. Set casserole over heat and bring to a gentle bubble, cover with a lid and transfer to oven. Cook for about 1 hour, or until chicken meat is so tender it is nearly falling off the bone.

4 – While chicken is cooking, remove rind in strips from orange and lemon. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat and add almonds. Cook, stirring, until lightly golden. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with sea salt. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to pan, lower heat and add orange and lemon rind. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring often, until golden and slightly frizzled. Transfer to a plate. Squeeze juice from orange and lemon, measure 2 tablespoons of each and set aside for the sauce.

5 – Transfer chicken to a heated deep platter or large serving bowl. Tilt casserole and skim off any fat from juices. Mix almond butter with water until smooth and add to casserole with green olives and orange and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (whether you need more salt will depend on the saltiness of the olives). Spoon sauce over chicken, sprinkle with fried almonds and citrus rind and a little parsley. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

 

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