Saturday, March 20, 2010

Stewed Chicken with Quince

I've had a quince hanging out in my fridge while I figured out what to do with it. I already made my annual portion of quince paste, and really, with only one quince to work with there's no real point in making another (tiny) portion of paste. Ultimately, I ended up deciding that the quince would go well with chicken. Normally I'm not a fan of savoury foods that have a sweet component to them (being more of an acid lover, myself), but the quince isn't blindingly sweet so I thought it'd work out. Fortunately, it did. Hope you enjoy!

1 large bone-in chicken breast
1 quince, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
3 carrots, cut into chunks
1 small white onion, cut into chunks
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (do not drain the liquid)
2 cups celery, cut into chunks
1 cup diced broccoli stem (optional)
2 dried limes
salt and pepper to taste
water
2 teaspoons rubbed sage

Remove fat, skin and bones from chicken breast. Put fat and skin in a skillet (skin should be fat side down) and set over very low heat. When all the fat is rendered and the skin is crispy, drain fat and reserve for another use (I store this in the fridge). Julienne skin and set aside. Put chicken bones in a small saucepan with about 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Let simmer (skim if necessary) for 30 minutes.

Chop deboned chicken breast into 1-2" pieces. Combine in a large saucepan with quince, carrots, onion, tomatoes, celery, broccoli stem (if you're using this; I had broccoli recently and wanted to not waste the stem when I know it can be eaten), dried limes, salt, pepper and sage. Set over very low heat while your chicken stock is cooking.

Once stock is done, remove bones and add to the saucepan of chicken and stuff. Increase heat to a strong simmer and simmer for 1 hour or so (or until you're ready to eat), adding water if needed. After ladeling into bowls, top with pieces of crisped skin*. Serves 4-6 (serves more people if eaten with rice).

* Note: If you don't want to eat the skin, alternately you can be really sweet to the dog and let him eat it.

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