Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Braised Chicken Thighs

This has got to be one of my favorite, super simple, one pot meals in winter. Chicken thighs lightly seasoned then seared until golden in unsalted butter. Remove the thighs and add root veggies, celery, half of a large onion chopped, 6 garlic cloves (whole). Then deglaze the pan with about a half cup of Sherry until veggies are golden an tender. Add chicken stock, fresh rosemary and thyme, and the zest of 1 lemon. Add the chicken back and submerge until the tops of one side are still above the stock (keeps one side a little crispy). Cook at 375 for 45 minutes in the oven. For a bedding, steam some white rice. Dang, I want some more right now!
Seriously, it's a delicious meal that ANYONE can pull off with minimal prep time and it should be cooked in a dutch oven. In fact, I just got a new Chantal 6qt cast iron and ceramic dutch oven (only $49.99 at TJ Maxx - a steal), which was promptly christened with this dish. If you have never used a dutch oven because you think its basically the same as using a crockpot, you really have no idea what you're missing. This is one of the most versatile pieces of cookware anyone can have in their kitchen arsenal. Take care of it and it will basically last forever. You can braise all sorts of meats and veggies with results no crockpot can even dream of touching, cook amazing desserts, casseroles, chili, and there is no better way to achieve a beautiful sear on a piece of meat than in cast iron on the stove top. Simply put the possibilities are endless and you should get one. The benefits far outweigh the cost.

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