Chicken is still an inexpensive option for a great dinner. It’s versatile and can be a delight but certain cooking methods can result in disappointment. If I leave the skin on chicken it’s because I want that nice, crisp skin. Braising chicken infuses it with the flavors in the liquid but can leave the skin soggy. But these Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs give me all the flavor I want and a nice crispy skin, too!
I love bone-in, skin on chicken thighs! The meat is so flavorful and juicy and crispy chicken skin is terrific! And Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs are one of the best ways I’ve found to infuse the meat with lots of flavor and still keep that wonderful crispy skin!
This recipe is adapted from Cal Peternell’s recipe for braised chicken legs. I didn’t want an overpowering (to us) flavor from the wine and my thyme plant gave up the ghost living on the windowsill (too cold, I think) so I used dried thyme.
First I generously seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper. Don’t forget to do both sides. It may seem like you’re using too much salt but, trust me, you don’t want to be stingy. Then let the chicken sit for about 30 minutes.
When the chicken sat for a while in the salt and pepper I preheated the oven to 350 degrees.
I dredged the chicken in all-purpose flour. I used 1/2 cup but I ended up throwing some away. Next time I’ll start with just over 1/4 cup and add some if I need it.
When the chicken was coated in flour I melted 2 tablespoons of butter in my cast iron skillet. My cast iron is really well seasoned so it can handle the acidity of the wine.
I browned the chicken, skin side down (although both sides really had a lot of skin) for about 5 minutes. Then I turned the chicken over to brown the other side. When it was nicely browned I removed it from the skillet and set it aside.
While the chicken was browning I cut up 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery into chunks, and quartered a yellow onion. I also minced a large clove of garlic but didn’t put that with the other vegetables.
There was some butter still in the skillet so I discarded that. I poured the white wine and the 2 cups of the chicken broth into the skillet.
I really scraped the skillet to get all those little browned bits of deliciousness loose. When the skillet was completely deglazed I poured the liquid into a bowl, reserving it. That liquid is part of what my chicken was going to braise in later.
I added the remaining butter to the skillet and melted it. Then I added my carrots, onion, and celery and let them cook until they were slightly softened (about 8 minutes). I added a bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, and the minced garlic. This all got cooked until the garlic was fragrant (about 1 minute).
The chicken went back into the skillet on top of the vegetables and I poured the reserved liquid into the skillet. I was careful not to pour it on the chicken. Then I added the remaining chicken broth the same way. I didn’t want the liquids directly on the top of the chicken because I wanted that crispy skin! You only add enough liquid to come about halfway up the side of the chicken.
I put the skillet in the oven and let it bake for about 30 minutes. When the temperature was 160 degrees I removed the entire skillet from the oven and put the chicken on a plate to rest and reach 165 degrees internally.
I strained the vegetables out of the liquid and tossed the bay leaf. The liquid went back into the skillet. I mixed about a tablespoon of cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of water and poured it slowly into the liquid in the skillet. I whisked the liquid constantly while it reached a boil and let it thicken a bit. You could also serve the liquid as is but I like it a little more like gravy.
And voila! Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs!
I served the chicken with rice and the vegetables braised with the chicken. Holy cow! Chicken braised in all that flavorful liquid but with crispy skin. I was in heaven! Mr. C had two thighs and cleaned his plate! So if you’re looking for a delicious, new way to serve chicken I suggest you try Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs!
Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs
Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs are packed with flavor and have a wonderful crispy skin. Your family is sure to love this recipe!
Add remaining 1 cup of chicken broth to skillet (use less if chicken would be submerged with the entire cup).
Place skillet in preheated oven for 5 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees.
Cook for 25 - 35 minutes (until internal temperature is 160 degrees. It will reach 165 degrees while resting).
Remove skillet from oven and set chicken on a plate.
Strain vegetables from liquid and keep warm
Return liquid to skillet.
*Mix cornstarch and water and slowly whisk into liquid in pan, bringing to a boil, whisking constantly until desired thickness is achieved.