Saturday, January 16, 2010

braised chicken

Friday: Tomato and Onion Braised Chicken; fresh bread

This is my favorite braised chicken recipe. Once you get over having to brown the chicken for a long(ish) time, there's really not much to it, and it works equally well on the stove-top or in the oven. I made it on the stove this time, since I was baking the bread at 450F during part of its cooking time. (Overall, I prefer to make it in the oven, since it is easier to control the temperature in there.)

Chicken Legs Braised with Tomatoes, Onions & Garlic
adapted from The Art of Simple Food

  • 4 chicken legs, seasoned with salt and fresh-ground black pepper (can do up to a day or two in advance)
  • olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sprig rosemary
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 tomatoes, diced coarse, or 1 small (12 ounce) can organic whole tomatoes, diced (including juice)
  • 1/2 C - 2 C chicken broth

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and add sufficient olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Place the chicken legs into the pan skin side down and cook until crisp and brown, about 12 minutes. Turn and cook for another 4 minutes. (Watch out - there's likely to be a lot of splattering oil during this process!)

After it's browned, remove the chicken and add the onions, cooking until beginning to get translucent (5 min or so). Add the garlic, rosemary, and oregano and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and use their juice to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom.

Arrange the chicken in the pan, skin side up, and pour in any juices that have collected. Pour in enough chicken broth to reach halfway up the chicken.

Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook at a bare simmer or in a 325° oven for 45 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve as-is, or shred the meat from the bone and mix into the vegetable mixture. (Shredding the meat first is nice if you'd like to serve the chicken over pasta instead of with bread.)
serves 4

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