The thighs of a chicken are my favourite cut. They’re inexpensive and have way more flavour than the bland breast. I usually braise them because it’s easy and they go with just about anything. I love the way they soak up the earthy flavours of the mushrooms in this dish.
Yield: 4 Servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 chicken thighs
1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, cut into quarters
2 sliced Portobello mushrooms
2 sliced onions
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup wine, white or red, your choice
dash Salt and Pepper
Preheat a large skillet over a medium-high heat then add the oil and a single layer of the chicken thighs. Because you will be adding liquid and lowering the temperature of the chicken, this is the only opportunity you will have to add the rich flavours of caramelized chicken – so be patient. Brown evenly on both sides. When they are done remove and rest on a side plate. Pour off most of the accumulated fat.
Add the onions and mushrooms to the pan. Sauté first until they begin to release their juices then as they start to become golden brown. Place the chicken thighs back into the pan; then add the stock, wine, salt and pepper. Bring to a slow simmer; a boil will toughen the meat. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid so that no moisture escapes and simmer slowly until the meat is very tender and falling off of the bone, about 45 minutes.
Usually when you’re cooking a whole chicken, the focus is on the crispy skin, but what if the goal is deeply flavoured moist chicken meat instead? Baking in a tightly covered pot is the answer. It also happens to be one of the simplest ways to cook a chicken, and the tastiest because this covered cooking method makes lots of true, concentrated chicken flavor.
I often braise chicken thighs for dinner; they have infinite varieties of preparation and go well with just about any side dish. They are flavour sponges too! In this version I pair the woodsy aroma of rosemary with the subtle flavour of vanilla. Try experimenting with other seasonings for different flavours.