Friday, January 21, 2011

Mind-Blowing Braised Chicken Thighs

I stuck my spoon into the braising liquid for a quick taste. It was liquid gold.  I stuck my spoon back into the pan for another taste.  Rather perplexed, I wondered how in the hell it could taste so good? Truth is, I wasn't expecting much and I sure wasn't expecting a mind-blowing dish.  I had picked the recipe just because I had everything on hand Turns out I hit the jackpot. This recipe is one of the best things I've had in awhile. 

In this simple recipe, a handful of ingredients come together to make one flavorful, knock-out, lip-smackin' dish. Chicken thighs are seasoned with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning then browned in a pan on each side.  After removing the chicken, the onion, garlic, and herbs are added to the pan with a dusting of flour and some chicken stock.  When all that comes a boil, the chicken is added back in and allowed to braise on the stove for one hour.  The chicken becomes meltingly tender and the braising liquid.....turns into a delicious gravy.  This recipe is like magic.

Braised Chicken Thighs
Serves 4-6 (consider making a double batch)
6 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), trimmed of any excess skin or fat
1 tablespoon Emeril's Original Essence or Creole Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon a/p flour
2 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied in a bundle or 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
*Steamed white rice, for serving

Season the chicken all over with the Essence and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.  Place the 1/2 cup flour in a small bowl, and quickly dredge both sides of each thigh in the flour, shaking to remove any excess.  Set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a 10-12-inch flameproof casserole or saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of the butter, and when it has melted, place the chicken, skin side down, in the pan.  Brown for 2 minutes on each side.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the pan, and when it has melted, add the onions, garlic, thyme bundle or rosemary sprigs, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the black pepper.  Cook, stirring as needed, until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes.  Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon flour over the onions and cook for 2 minutes longer.  Then whisk in the chicken stock and increase the heat to high.  Return the chicken, skin side down, to the pan, and bring the stock to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan with a heavy, tight-fitting lid, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Uncover the pan, stir the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching, and turn the chicken skin side up. Cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes longer.

Stir the bottom of the pan a final time, re-cover, and simmer for 20 more minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and discard the herb bundle or rosemary sprigs.  Transfer the chicken to a serving platter.  Add the parsley to the sauce, stir to combine, and then spoon the sauce over the chicken.  Serve with the steamed white rice.

Notes/Results: A surprisingly delicious meal and one that I will be sure to make again.....soon!   It's healthy, it's economical, it's easy, and it's beyond delicious.  That makes it a winner in my book.  I do want to point out that I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs because that's what I had on hand.  I had no problems with the substitution.  The directions for the recipe seem rather long and time-consuming, but they're really not.  You're basically just going back to the pot every 20 minutes to stir the liquid and flip the chicken.  Easy peasy!

17 comments:

  1. This sounds absolutely amazing! I'm going to have to add it to the list!

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  2. Not gonna lie, I never really expect to be wowed by chicken. But I think Emeril could prove me wrong with this. Liquid gold might just be exactly what I need in my life :P

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  3. That sauce does look amazing!

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  4. We LOVE braised chicken thighs at our house and Emeril's Essence is the best! Can't wait to try this!

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  5. Mmmm, just what I am in the mood for! Looks delicious. I love Emeril.

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  6. aren't chicken thighs the best? So full of flavour and so cheap! I love them and use them often so your recipe will make a great addition to my same old same old tried and tested dishes... thanks for the inspiration!

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  7. It's always the broth that makes the dish!

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  8. This looks delicious and boneless, skinless thighs are my staple. I'm going to pick up some Creole seasoning (I checked my pantry and mine looks a little long in the tooth)and try these next week.

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  9. Mmmm...mind blowing, eh? I could use a little mind blowing food about now! I haven't introduced my family to creole seasoning yet, but this one looks like a great one to get started on.

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  10. isn't it the best when a recipe surprises you so pleasantly! you really can't beat the sound of liquid gold, i can't WAIT to try this! i too have everything on hand, so it's going on my linup. i love that you paired it with rice, it's the best thing to soak up those crazy delicious flavors.

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  11. Wow! I need me some liquid gold!!!

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  12. sound and looks wonderful! I love those unexpected surprisingly wonderful dishes

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  13. Well, you've convinced me - it certainly looks wonderful. I'm not sure that I can get creole seasoning here though - any suggestions for an alternative or approximate spice combination?
    Sue

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  14. You answered my question about bone in or boneless before I had the chance. Thanks:)

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  15. I am planning on having chicken thighs tonight and will make this. In answer to Consciousness's inquiry above, here is a recipe for homemade Emeril's Essence that might help you out. This comes from Emeril himself as he shares the recipe in several of his cookbooks.

    Emeril's Essence
    From Chef and author Emeril Lagasse's cookbook, Emeril's TV Dinners: Kickin It Up a Notch"

    5 tablespoons sweet paprika
    1/4 cup salt
    1/4 cup garlic powder
    2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablspoons onion powder
    2 tablespoons cayenne
    2 tablespoons dried oregano
    2 tablespoons dried thyme

    Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and blend well. Store in an airtight container in your spice cabinet for up to 3 months.

    This would be easily halved or quartered to make sure you like before you make a big batch

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  16. Love the look of that sauce--I love chciken dishes like this. Speaking of Emeril and braising, I am trying his osso buco this weekend. ;-)

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  17. "Liquid Gold"!!!! Wow, you got me right there on this recipe! It sounds heavenly! Mmmm, the sauce!

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