Chicken is a bit stressful, isn’t it? Overcooked chicken is dry, sad, and all too frequent. Undercooked chicken is a non-starter, and that line of “perfectly cooked” can feel so narrow, even for the most experienced cook. So what do you do when your Goldlilocks chicken can’t make up her mind? You braise her of course! Braising is the fool proof plan to get succulent, perfectly cooked chicken every time because it’s near impossible to overcook it with this method. You brown the chicken first, then submerge it in cooking liquid (white wine and broth, here). I added some dried currants, pine nuts, and herbs to add a bit of texture and depth, but feel free to add your own spin. Chopped carrots and leeks would be delicious, or sliced almonds with raisins and a touch of curry, or mushrooms with caramelized onion and thyme, too.
1 3-4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
4 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 ounces unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups wild mushrooms (oyster or chanterelle are delicious), sliced
3 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 ounces pine nuts
1/2 cup dried currants
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup broth, hot
1 teaspoon kosher salt
10 ounces pasta, cooked, or whatever your carbohydrate you like!
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and lightly season with salt and pepper. In a dutch oven over medium high heat, brown the chicken (about 5 minutes a side). If you’re cooking with chicken with skin on, they shouldn’t stick, but if they do, add a bit of oil or butter to the pan. It won’t be cooked through, you just want a deep sear.
Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the onions and butter over medium heat until pale yellow, about 10-15 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add the wine and broth, then turn up to high and reduce liquid for 10 minutes. Add garlic, herbs, pine nuts, currants, and the chicken. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
Remove chicken and turn up to high to reduce the liquid to a sauce-like consistency (about 5-10 minutes) and season to taste. Serve over pasta, rice, or quinoa with the chicken.