1 chicken, cut up for braising (legs, thighs, wings, breasts split and each half cut across,) or 8 thighs
1 tablespoon Smokey China Rub*
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces orange juice
2 ounces brandy
2 medium brown onions, sliced into ¼ inch thick half-moons
2 cloves of garlic, peeled, de-germed and minced
10 Del Real dates, pitted
1 cup white wine, such as Gewurztraminer or Riesling
1 cup good chicken stock
Water as needed
5 “nickels” (slices) of peeled fresh ginger root
1 large pinch Smokey China Rub
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or other neutral flavored oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Marinate the chicken in a zipper bag with the Smokey China Rub powder, salt and pepper, orange juice, and brandy. Refrigerate 2 hours or up to overnight.
Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.
Heat an ovenproof pan with a tight fitting lid that is large enough to hold all the chicken over medium heat. Sauté the onions to wilt and color a golden brown. Add the garlic and cook until the aroma comes up and the garlic is translucent.
When this is done, lay the chicken pieces in the pan, skin side down, on top of the onions and garlic. Scatter the dates all around the chicken. Sprinkle additional Smokey China Rub over the chicken, along with a little salt and pepper.
Add the wine, stock, and enough water to come halfway up the chicken pieces. Add fresh ginger root slices. On the stovetop, increase the heat under the pan to bring the liquid to the boil. Cover tightly and transfer to the oven.
After thirty minutes, remove the top from the dish, and turn the chicken pieces over, making sure the skin is not submerged in the braising liquid. Return the pan, uncovered, to the oven to finish the cooking and to crisp the skin of the chicken. This should take around fifteen to thirty minutes.
Strain the sauce, defat, then return to a pan and reduce to thicken if need be. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Put the remaining solids through a food mill or food processor with some of the sauce and dates for a much thicker and intense sauce.
*Smokey China Rub is available directly from Chef Andrew or at Malabar Trading Company at the Aptos Farmers Market.
SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Chef Andrew Cohen