Thursday, May 1, 2014

Orange Ramp Braised Chicken

This is by far my favorite ramp dish.  It is always one of the very first that I make in the ramp season.  I also love to make some extras to store in the freezer for later in the year, when the ramps are gone.  I have not taken photos of this, despite eating it already this year.  I will snap some shots of it the next time I make it and add them for you all.

Reminder - I use all organic and local ingredients and feel strongly that this makes a difference in the flavor.  Get as many organic and local ingredients as you can, you won't be sorry.

Orange Ramp Braised Chicken

1 whole chicken, broken down into 10 pieces (though I save the wings for another use)
coarse salt
1-2 tbsp olive oil
about 20 good sized ramps, if yours are small, use more, they're delicious
3/4 cup pitted mixed olives (buy the bulk olives from oryana or burritts that are mixed with all kinds of olives)
strips of orange zest from an orange and all the orange juice from that orange (you want at least a 1/2 cup, if you don't get that much, use another orange, or short of that, add water)

Preheat the oven to 450F.  Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high until hot but not smoking, about 1 minute (you can also use a dutch oven or a large nonstick skillet, but cast iron gives better flavor I think).  Season chicken with salt.  working in batches if needed, add chicken, skin side down, and brown on one side, about 9 minutes, moving chicken around while cooking if necessary, for even browning.

Turn chicken, skin side up, and add ramps, olives, orange zest strips and orange juice to skillet.  Transfer to oven and cook until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

Take out and enjoy, making sure to eat all parts with the chicken, including the orange peel strips (they taste AMAZING).

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