Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs

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!

All the flavor of braising and crispy skin too! Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs!

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.

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs start with seasoned chicken

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.

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs are delicious and juicy!

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.

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs will delight your family!

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.

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs will delight your family!

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.

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs will delight your family!

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.

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs will delight your family!

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).

Full of flavor, Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs will delight your family!

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.

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs will delight your family!

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!

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs will delight your family!

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).

  1. Place skillet in preheated oven for 5 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook for 25 – 35 minutes (until internal temperature is 160 degrees. It will reach 165 degrees while resting).
  3. Remove skillet from oven and set chicken on a plate.
  4. Strain vegetables from liquid and keep warm
  5. Return liquid to skillet.
  6. *Mix cornstarch and water and slowly whisk into liquid in pan, bringing to a boil, whisking constantly until desired thickness is achieved.

 

 

 

Save

Yooper Pasties Troll Version

I live in Michigan where two types of Michiganders reside. There are the Yoopers (U’pers) who live in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) and the Trolls who live under the (Mackinac) Bridge. I’m a Troll but I love the U.P.! It’s a lovely part of our state and boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the Midwest. The U.P. also has some unique foods. Pasties (pronounced “pass-tees”) are a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. But, since I’m a Troll I make Yooper Pasties Troll Version!

Yooper Pasties are a Michigan favorite!

— Continue reading

Macaroni & Cheese with 4 Cheeses!

I admit I’m a total carnivore. Sometimes people suggest I become a vegetarian and I tell them I’m already a vegetarian once removed; I eat animals that eat a vegetarian diet. Still, every once in a while I have a craving for good old macaroni & cheese. But I don’t always make it with cheddar cheese. You know…the “normal” way. Tonight it’s Macaroni & Cheese with 4 Cheeses!

Macaroni & Cheese with 4 Cheeses will become a family favorite!

There’s nothing wrong with macaroni and cheese with cheddar. I love the stuff. But lately I’ve been making a lot of dinners that include cheddar cheese and I wanted something different. I picked up a 5 lb. bag of Galbani Mozzarella, Provolone, and mild White Cheddar a few days ago so I decided to use that as the start of my mac and cheese.

Mozzarella, provolone, and mild white cheddar cheese make this macaroni and cheese special!

First I made the béchamel sauce. I melted 4 tablespoons of butter in a heavy, medium size saucepan over a low heat. I added the flour and cooked it, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. I increased the heat to medium and slowly whisked in half-and-half and milk.

I cooked the half-and-half mixture for about 4 minutes, stirring it frequently, until it was slightly thickened. Then I added a teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and stirred it in.

Half-and-half makes this creamy cheese sauce really special!

The béchamel was covered and I set it aside. It was time to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Next I filled a large pot with water and salted it to taste. I put it on the stove on a high heat and when it was boiling rapidly I added 1 pound of elbow macaroni. After the water had returned to a boil I reduced the heat so the macaroni was at a low boil. I cooked it 2 minutes less than the package directions (for only 5 minutes) because I wanted the macaroni very al dente. It finishes cooking in the oven and I hate, hate, hate mushy pasta!

While the macaroni was boiling I buttered a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

When the macaroni was done I drained it, returned it to the cooking pot and added 2 tablespoons of butter. I stirred it so the butter would melt and to coat the macaroni. I think we should all say a prayer of thanks for butter.

Then I poured about 1/2 the macaroni into the casserole dish. I topped it with the Galbani cheese blend and the Parmigiano cheese.

Mixed cheese blend crumbles make a smooth macaroni and cheese.

I spread the rest of the macaroni over the cheese layer and topped it with the remaining cheese blend but not the rest of the parmigiana.

I mixed the rest of the parmigiana with the breadcrumbs and spread that mixture over the macaroni and cheese. We like a lot of that crispy topping on top of lots of gooey cheese!

Macaroni & Cheese with 4 Cheeses ready to bake!

The macaroni and cheese went into the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. You’ll want the breadcrumbs golden brown.

Breadcrumbs combined with parmigiano cheese are the perfect topping for Macaroni & Cheese with 4 Cheeses!

I let the dish stand for a few minutes before serving.

Oh, the joy of stringy cheese and crispy breadcrumbs surrounding that flavorful béchamel and perfectly cooked macaroni! I think I heard angels singing. And I didn’t even care that there was no meat!

Lots of gooey cheese makes Macaroni & Cheese with 4 Cheeses amazing!

 

Macaroni & Cheese with 4 Cheeses

 

Ingredients:

 

6 tablespoons of butter + more to butter casserole dish

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon salt, plus salt for pasta water

2 cups Galbani Mozzarella, Provolone, and mild White Cheddar Cheese blend

1 cup Parmigiano cheese, divided (the stuff in the shaker bottle works just fine but you can use shredded, too)

1 pound elbow macaroni

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

4 ounces grated Cheddar cheese

2 cups fresh bread crumbs

 

Directions:

 

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter over a low heat in a heavy saucepan.

Add the flour and stir to combine.

While stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the half-and-half and milk.

Cook for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring frequently until mixture is slightly thickened.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the garlic powder and stir to combine.

Cover the béchamel sauce and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a large pot with water and add salt.

When water is boiling, add the macaroni noodles and return to a low boil.

Cook for 5 minutes (until very al dente).

Drain and return to cooking pot.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter and stir to melt and combine.

Pour 1/2 of the macaroni into a buttered 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.

Top with 2 cups of the Galbani cheese blend and 1 cup of the Parmigiano cheese.

Spread the remaining macaroni over the cheese and top this layer with the remaining cheese blend.

Mix the remaining 1 cup of Parmigiano with the bread crumbs and spread over the top of the macaroni and cheese.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until top is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

Let stand for a few minutes after removing from oven.

 

Save

Save

Swiss Cheeseburgers with Tomato Gravy

I noticed a recipe for Swiss burgers a while back on (I believe) Recipes.com and thought it might be something Mr. Comfortable would enjoy. But naturally I had to kick up the flavor a bit so I came up with this version. Mr. C gave my Swiss Cheeseburgers with Tomato Gravy two thumbs up and he’s not a big burger lover! I love burgers. I’d eat them a lot but Mr. C is still having some trouble eating them. But by making these burgers with the tomato gravy I could make both of us happy. And, boy, did these make us happy! Seriously what’s better than a burger stuffed with cheese?

Swiss Cheeseburgers with Tomato Gravy is a satisfying meal for not a lot of money!

— Continue reading

Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

When I went on my little freezer meal prep frenzy recently I had no idea how happy I’d be that I had them! Since I finally admitted, or rather my body forced me to admit, that I am sick Mr. Comfortable and I have been eating well with very little work. But I also wanted to so more than just make another slow cooker meal so I prepared the Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs a little differently.

honey-mustard-chicken

— Continue reading

Farmer's Casserole

Sweet peppers, earthy mushrooms, tangy cheddar, and juicy chicken make this casserole a truly satisfying meal. The creamy sauce and crunchy panko topping are added delights. And in this harvest season Farmer’s Chicken Casserole allows you to use all the great produce available at the grocery store, the farmers market, or even your own backyard!

– Continue reading