Civet de Poulet Aux Pruneaux D'Agen
Wine-Braised Chicken Legs with Agen Prunes
serves 4

1 Large Bay Leaf

1 celery with leaves

9 fresh thyme sprigs

6 Chicken Legs

2 tsp fleur de sel

tellicherry ground pepper

2 carrots sliced into rounds (about two cups)

4 garlic gloves

1 Walla Sweet Onion or other sweet onion

2 whole cloves

750ml red wine

18 Pruneaux de Agen about 7oz

1 ounce Cru Sauvage 68%

Rice bran oil

Large, cast iron pan like Le Cresuet or Lodge, cooking twine


#1: Create a bouquet garni: take the bay leaf, celery, thyme sprigs, in a neat pile, then secure them together by wrapping tightly crosswise around the center with twine. Set aside.

#2: To prepare the chicken legs: Remove the skin and salt and pepper the legs

#3: In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat add rice bran oil. Add the chicken legs to the hot pan and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook the other side. Remove and place on plate. Cook remaining legs.

Cook the carrots, garlic, and onions to the skillet. Cook until softened slightly.

#4: In a 6-quart Dutch oven add the wine; bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, use a long-handled lighter to ignite the wine. Let the flames die down on their own, about a minute, then lower the heat to a simmer and let cook 5 minutes more.

#5: Add the cloves and bouquet garni, and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Add the chicken to the wine mixture, then add enough water to almost cover the legs. Cover the pan and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer; cook, turning the legs occasionally, until the meat has pulled away from the end of the bones and feels tender, about 1 hour 20 minutes.

#6: Remove the legs to a large, shallow serving bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.

#7: Add the prunes to the cooking liquid, and toss the bouquet.

Transfer a third of the sauce and vege­tables to a blender and process until almost smooth. Transfer the blended mixture back to the pot to thicken the sauce. Turn the heat too high.

Add the chocolate, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.

#8: Pour the sauce, prunes, and vegetables over the duck legs. Garnish with more fresh thyme, and serve.