To learn more about salsify, a root vegetable used in this dish, see Rarefied Root.
Chicken with Salsify
Salsify is a vegetable with an air of mystery.
Yield: serves 6
- 3 1⁄2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 2 Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 24 whole blanched almonds, toasted
- 4 cloves garlic
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 lb. salsify, peeled, cut lengthwise into thirds, and placed in acidulated water
- 2 Tbsp. plus 1 cup olive oil (preferably Spanish)
- 1 (4-lb.) chicken, cut into 12 pieces
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 oz. salt pork, cut into small pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, grated
- 3 ripe medium tomatoes, halved, seeded, flesh grated, peels discarded
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 cup flour
- Purée 1⁄2 cup stock, parsley, almonds, and garlic in a blender to make a seasoning paste called a picada and set aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add salsify and simmer, partially covered, until just tender, about 30 minutes. (Depending on the age and size of the salsify, it may take longer to cook.) Drain and pat dry. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, season chicken with salt and pepper and cook, turning occasionally, until deep golden brown all over, 8–10 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken to a large plate as done. Cover and refrigerate. Reduce heat to medium, add salt pork, and cook until crisp, 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, discard salt pork, leaving fat in skillet. Increase heat to medium-high, add onions, and cook until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Add tomatoes and sugar, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, partially covered, until thick and rich, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dredge salsify in flour, shake off excess, and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 6–7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined sheet tray as done. Season with salt and set aside.
- Whisk remaining stock into tomato mixture. Add reserved chicken; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Gently stir in picada, salsify, and salt and pepper. Cook until salsify is soft, 12–15 minutes more.