Saturday, November 3, 2012

Italian Braised Chicken Thighs

I have to admit, chicken thighs are not my favorite cut of meat; however, my husband happens to prefer them because of their richer tasted. So when I was looking for a midweek meal, I turned to my refrigerator and then got creative. Because of the high fat content, braising is the perfect combination for chicken thighs. I served the dish with my easy buttered potatoes and sautéed spinach, I think it would be great over some buttered noodles. My husband also pointed out that this would work well for campfire cooking in a dutch oven.

1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
2 Pieces Thick Sliced Bacon, cut into small chunks
4 Skin-On Chicken Thighs
2 Small Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, sliced
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
Pinch of Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sherry
1 Tablespoon Chicken Broth
1 Tomato, diced
Parsley for Topping

1. In a dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
2. Add the diced bacon and sauté until crisp.
3. Remove the bacon from the pan and allow to rest on a paper towel.
4. Pat the skin of the chicken dry with a paper towel and then lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place skin side down in the pot and allow to cook for 7 minutes in the bacon renderings.
5. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate.
6. Add the onion and garlic to the oil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
7. Season the pot with the red pepper, Italian Seasoning, black pepper, and salt. Stir and allow the spices to bloom in the oil for 2 minutes.
8. Add the tomato and sugar to the pot; stir to combine.
9. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up.
10. Slowly pour the sherry and chicken broth into the pan without pouring on top of the chicken. The liquid level should come about halfway up the sides of the chicken. You do not want too much liquid or you will boil and not braise the meat.
11. Cover and allow to cook on medium low for 1 hour 30 minutes, checking periodically to ensure adequate moisture.
12. Remove the lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
13. Plate the meat, covering with the sauce. Top with the reserved bacon and chopped parsley.

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