The first time I made this dish, 4th July weekend out at Prisoners’ on Santa Cruz Island, we had only recently visited José Ramirez’s chicken farm in Acton. I say ‘farm’ but in fact it’s a chickens’ playpen because José treats his hens more like friends than livestock. The only fences they experience are those intended to keep the hawks and coyotes out rather than the hens in. Their organic feed is the most expensive available, supplemented with vegetables from the Farmers’ Markets where he sells his eggs. Which, by the way, are the best we’ve ever tasted!
So, having seen José’s happy chickens in action, it seems almost wrong to be promoting a chicken recipé, no matter how delicious. On the other hand, perhaps Josés particular chickens will never know…
3 whole chicken legs
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 thin pieces of prosciutto, sliced
¼ cup white wine
6 whole sage leaves
½ cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
Salt & Pepper
What you do:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the butter and sage together and spread the mixture under the chicken skin. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof skillet. Cook the chicken, skin side down, until the skin is brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and put the skillet in the oven. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Put the skillet back on the stove top over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the pan, cover with foil to keep warm and drain the excess oil. Add the prosciutto to the skillet and cook until crisp. Add the wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Cook until sauce is reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Add the wine and sage and simmer until reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until thickened.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.