by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Program at CTC
Hello, everyone! I hope you had a great holiday. Now, before you lament over the loss of christmas (and the delicious foods you’ve consumed), rejoice! January (and the rest of the winter months) are a great time for delicious warm and hearty dishes that warm the soul. Dishes like chili, soup, and casseroles will melt your heart in these cold times and make you rethink those January blues. The dish I will introduce is one such hearty dish: Braised Chicken.
Though it may seem like a complicated process, braised chicken is a great dish because of how easy it is to make. Just do the dry cooking (cooking done on the skillet or stovetop), add stock, and throw it in the oven to forget about (until the timer rings, of course). There are three parts to braised chicken that make this dish flavorful and delicious: The process of searing, deglazing, and cooking the chicken in stock. Searing (which means cooking the meat on both sides quickly, often on a skillet) provides a flavor-base for the vegetables. Deglazing (the process of adding liquid to the cooked vegetables and scraping off browned bits) helps to unlock the flavor of both the vegetables and the brown bits that stick to the pan (the most flavorful part). Finally, cooking the chicken in the stock ensures that the chicken doesn’t dry out over the long cooking time and gives flavor to the chicken. Keep in mind that this dish involves both cooking on the stovetop and cooking in the oven.
I hope this dish can keep you warm in these cold January days!
4-5 bone-in chicken pieces (preferably chicken drumsticks)
1-2 stocks celery, chopped
1-2 large carrots, chopped
2 small onions, chopped
1 large potato, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock (I used instant stock powder, nothing fancy)
3 tsp. Olive oil (plus 4 tbsp. more for cooking)
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 sprig thyme
2 tbsp. tomato puree
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
¾ cup white wine
– Large oven-proof pan
– 2 medium-sized bowls (one for holding raw chicken,
one for holding seared chicken)
– Heat-resistant spatula
– 2 pairs of tongs
– Measuring cup (liquid)
– Several small bowls for holding chopped veggies
Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Chop veggies beforehand. Once finished, place in small bowls. In a separate bowl, place in 3-4 pieces bone-in chicken. Add salt, black pepper, paprika, and olive oil. Mix together by hand. Heat an oven-proof pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil. Place chicken in with first pair of tongs and allow to cook 4-5 minutes on one side. Flip to the other side and cook another 4-5 minutes. Discard the first pair of tongs. When finished, place chicken in clean bowl with second pair of tongs. Set aside.
Add in carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and potatoes, stirring occasionally. Cook until golden brown.
Add in butter, stir. Add in flour, stir. Add in tomato puree. This will make a thick roux with the vegetables. Add wine and stir.
Add in chicken or vegetable stock, scraping off browned bits. Place chicken back in pan, making sure not to let the chicken overlap or crowd the pan.
Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 2 hours. Stir after 1 hour. Take out of the oven and allow to cool. You can check if the chicken is done by placing a food thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken (though not near a bone) and ensuring that the temperature is 165 degrees or higher. Serve and enjoy!
Can be served with a toasted baguette, warm biscuits with honey butter, or salad.
(With credit to Chef Lynch on his French style Braised Chicken video)