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 Braised Chicken Legs with Carrot Juice, Dates & Spices

   Makes 4 servings, 1 leg & 1 thigh each
   Prep Time: 35 minutes
   Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
   Ease of Preparation: moderate

   4 bone-in, skin-on medium chicken thighs (1 to 1-1/4 lb.)
   4 chicken drumsticks (1 to 1-1/4 lb.)
   2 Tbs. vegetable oil
   1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
   1 tsp. ground ginger
   1 tsp. ground cinnamon
   1/2 tsp. ground cumin
   1-1/4 cups carrot juice
   1 cup low sodium chicken broth divided
   2 tablespoons cornstarch
   3 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (or pitted prunes or dried apricots)
   2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
   2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

  2. Mix ¼ cup of cold broth with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Set aside.

  3. In an ovenproof sauté pan with a lid, heat the oil. Arrange the chicken pieces skin side down in the pan and cook until deeply browned, about 5 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook until the other sides are deeply browned, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Discard all but 1 Tbs. of the fat in the pan.
  4. Put the pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, until soft and beginning to color, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the ginger, cinnamon, and cumin and stir into the onions for about 1 minute. Pour in the carrot juice and ¾ cup broth and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, along with any accumulated juices. If using prunes or apricots, add them now. Cover, transfer to the oven, and braise for 15 minutes. Add the dates, if using, and continue to braise until the chicken is fork-tender and the drumstick meat starts to come away from the bone, 30 to 35 minutes more.

  5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and dried fruit to a serving dish and keep warm. Mix the cornstarch mixture into the sauce and bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, and serve.

 Tips & Tricks
Tip: this is a great meal served over your favorite whole grain rice with a goats cheese and greens salad on the side.

 Nutritional Notes: per serving: calories 330; fat 15g (sat 3g, mono 5.8g, poly 4.8g); iron 2mg; cholesterol 93mg; calcium 52mg; carbohydrate 20g; sodium 130mg; protein 28g; fiber 2.4g

 Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A: 270% daily value; Vitamin C: 15% dv; Calcium: 6% dv; Iron: 10% dv

 Adapted from