Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fruity braised chicken thighs for my mother

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Plump braised chicken thighs - perfect for my mom's next dinner party

My mother (hi Mommy! Love you!) is one of my most devoted readers.

This surprises me only because my blog is about cooking.

My mom cooked our family meals when I was growing up, but she didn't like it much. And it showed.

I grew up on baked chicken breasts (sprinkled with paprika for color), baked fish (sprinkled with paprika for color), frozen vegetable medley, and the occasional baked potato. I don't believe any baked good ever emerged from our ovens.

(Don't worry, she won't be insulted that I'm sharing this. She admits it freely.)

These days, though, my mother is throwing dinner party after dinner party.

Why the sudden change of culinary heart?

We lost my dad more than four years ago. Since then my mother has done an admirable job rebuilding a social life.

Like me, she's decided to be the organizer. The one who issues the invitations instead of waiting for them.

My mom has asked me to help plan the menus for a half-dozen parties. She uses my recipes and then, when her friends ask, she proudly points them to this blog.

My mother loves my blog. But she's had the same complaint suggestion for a few years: "You need more chicken recipes."

So here I am with a chicken recipe. An easy one, too. Perfect for my mom's next dinner party.

print recipe

Fruity braised chicken thighs
Start this chicken dish on the stove to crisp the skin, then move it to the oven to finish cooking. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs yield the most flavorful meat.
  • 6 large chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup apricot jam, quince jam, or orange marmalade (your choice)
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Heat a large, heavy, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. (A cast-iron skillet works perfectly for this dish.) Sprinkle the chicken thighs with the salt and place them skin-side down in the skillet. Leave them alone for at least 5 minutes, then lift one up with tongs and peek. You want the skin to be deep golden-brown and crisp around the edges. When it's so, remove the chicken from the skillet and park it on a plate for a moment.While the chicken is browning, whisk together the wine, mustard, garlic, and jam. Add a good amount of freshly ground pepper and whisk again to combine.Turn off the heat. Pour off the rendered fat in the skillet. Put the chicken back in the skillet, skin-side up this time. Pour the wine mixture over the chicken and put the skillet in the preheated oven. Bake the chicken about 40 minutes, until the skin is dark and caramelized and the sauce has thickened. Serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings


Kath said...

My variation on your mother's request is "I need more chicken thigh recipes!" I can't have too many. Yours looks delish!

Anonymous said...

Wow, loved how easy and flavorful this chicken was. I didn't have enough preserves but it was still amazing. Thank you for sharing!

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