Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Braised Chicken Thighs with Onions and Mushrooms

Chicken thighs, seasoned with salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and rosemary, cooked with mushrooms and onions, and slow braised on the stovetop.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Onions and Mushrooms

Aren't you glad that winter is almost, ever so close to being behind us? I know my friends and family who live in the upper east coast areas are happy to be finally seeing the ground after months of snow. Well... we have a couple of mornings in the 30s and 40s (followed by days in the 60s in between) so I'm sneaking in at least another comfort food dish before we send Old Man Winter packing!

Many of you know that the Cajun and I are in the middle of a move to a new home - something that I never thought I'd be doing at this stage of my life. I will miss being so close to the Gulf, but it brings a lot of comfort to me that I don't have to worry about evacuations with hurricane threats because of my animals. It's easy for us to move further inland, but pets aren't as welcomed with hotels and even with family who aren't accustomed to them. I'm happy to know that we all can just stay put at home further inland. Just gettin' too old for all that business! As soon as we move out, the old house will get a little facelift and go on the market, hopefully to be a new home for somebody else just starting out.

We have had construction workers all in our new-to-us house since we closed on it, so we haven't exactly moved in, because, although the house has so many features that I always wanted in a house, and did not have in my old house, there were a few things I wanted to do before we moved in furniture. Painting is happening on Monday, so we are just about there though.

The new house had flooring throughout - except for carpeting in the master bedroom. Because of my allergies and my four-legged children, we had that pulled out and flooring installed there too. That part is done and we're ready to move in the master bedroom finally. I've also had Wall Control metal pegboard installed in the laundry room, including a laundry station where I can keep my iron, ironing board and supplies.

There was a lot of wall space to add additional shelving, so I put shelves in the laundry room, plus more in the walk-in pantry and down the walls of the garage. Yesterday we had a wall knocked out that separated two smaller rooms - what was a formal living room and a separate den - to open that area to make a single larger space and bring in more natural light. That will be our family room with a section for dining and I'll be able to convert the formal dining room into a real office for Deep South Dish!

Though it's an exciting time and we feel very blessed to be in a position to even do this really (and praying that we stay healthy and able to pay for this home), it's a tad bit awkward living between two homes and it's sure hard to cook anything much. I made a shrimp scampi the other day for supper at the old house, but had already carried much of the pantry over to the new house. I had to use what was left - about 1/4 pound each of medium shells and ziti pasta. It may not have looked traditional but it certainly did taste good!

This is a pretty standard recipe for braised chicken, although I based my version on Emeril's recipe he shared on Good Morning America some time ago. While bone-in chicken thighs are most traditional, other pieces of chicken may also be used, simply by adjusting times accordingly. There's quite a lot of onion in this - about 3 cups, very thinly sliced, and fresh mushrooms are typically included, though if you're not really a fan, it'd be fine to omit them. Other veggies may be used, such as quartered red potatoes and carrots, halved and cut into 1-inch chunks. Brown them in the oil after removing the chicken and before adding the broth.

I like to serve this chicken right over the top of some homemade mashed potatoes, spooning the pan sauce, onions and mushrooms over the top, but rice is a great choice as well.

Here's how to make it.

Recipe: Braised Chicken Thighs with Onions and Mushrooms

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 1 hour | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (about 6 to 8)
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 cups of halved and thinly sliced sweet or yellow onion
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms, optional
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 (32 ounce) chicken broth or stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Homemade mashed potatoes or steamed white rice

Season the chicken lightly on both sides with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning. Put the flour and garlic powder in a zipper bag, seal and shake well to mix up. Remove 2 tablespoons of the seasoned flour and set aside. Dredge chicken in the remaining seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large, lidded skillet over medium high heat and brown the chicken on both sides, skin side down first, until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.

Add the onion to the skillet and stir, cooking about 4 minutes until softened, but not browned. Add the mushrooms and sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of reserved flour, stirring it in for about 2 minutes. Turn up to high and begin whisking in a small amount of the chicken broth to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Once mixture is smooth, stir in the remaining chicken broth, cooking until blended in. Return chicken to the pan, skin side down, add rosemary sprigs and cover; let simmer for 15 minutes.

Uncover, turn chicken and stir contents; cover and simmer for an additional 40 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, stirring several times. Transfer chicken to a serving platter, stir parsley and remaining butter into the sauce and heat through; taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve with hot steamed rice or homemade mashed potatoes, spooning sauce and vegetables over the top of the chicken or serving sauce on the side.

Tip: Use the pan sauce as is, or concentrate it by reducing. Remove the chicken and tent it to keep warm. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally until reduced by about half, or until it reaches desired consistency. You may also use a cornstarch slurry to thicken it to the consistency of a gravy instead.

Cook's Notes: You may also deglaze the pan with a bit of wine, beer or even a vinegar, adding the chicken broth following that. May substitute a teaspoon of dried rosemary and 1 tablespoon of dried parsley. Okay to substitute thyme for the rosemary if desired; you'll want about 6 sprigs fresh. You may also finish the chicken in a 400 degree F oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the thighs, or until internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F. Other chicken pieces may be used, however, adjust times accordingly.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on March 12, 2014
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  1. I hate moving and hopefully will never do it again. The chicken sounds delicious, especially sitting atop mashed potatoes.

    1. I am hoping that this one is my last Larry!!

  2. About 15 years ago we moved twice in two months. I never want to do that again! The recipe looks great. My husband loves chicken thighs, I think I'll make this for him soon. Send us some pics of your new house when you get situated.

    1. Oh Tricia, twice in two months?? How on earth did you survive that?!! I can't even imagine. We've just been moving a little at a time so far, but I am exhausted already. We are finishing up painting the big family room and hallways, and my new bed arrives Tuesday, so we'll be in full force soon. I'll be sure to share some pics soon!

  3. That reminds me of my mothers cooking when I was younger, I loved the braised thighs that she would make in her skillet.

    1. Aw Chris - I can't tell you how much it means when somebody mentions something reminds them of their mother's cooking. Thank you!

    2. This chicken would also be really wonderful over polenta. I love that stuff with slowly braised ANYTHING. haha

  4. HI Mary - Are the chicken thighs skin on? I'm assuming they are but thought I'd double-check. Thanks!

    1. Yes, they are! It could be made without the skin as well though.


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