C — What is braising?!
A few years ago, I didn’t know what braising was. I had no clue, but I was dying to know. Jim was so excited to receive a braising pan for his birthday. He couldn’t wait to start braising. I thought it was some super special machine that cooked meat really well.
When I finally got to see what a braising pan was, I was a little disappointed. It’s just a pan with a lid. But, when I started to use one it changed my opinion. It’s just a THICK pan with a lid. A thick pan with a lid that allows you to slowly cook something in the oven for hours. I was impressed. Nothing burned or stuck on the pan and it was easy to clean.
Braising is actually a technique. Searing meat or vegetables then slow cooking the dish for a long period of time in slow heat is the main objective of braising. I love doing it now. It allows all the flavors in the pot to combine beautifully. Everything is tender and can be pulled apart easily with a fork. Braising is usually done in colder weather, because the dishes are heartier and richer in taste.
This braised chicken recipe came about when Jim and I were on a braising kick. Everything had to be braised. Beef, lamb and pork. But, we hadn’t tried chicken. It was a good fall/winter dish. Nice and rich with some spinach on the side. Yum.
I was a little scared that the dried herbs would get bitter because of the slow cooking. There was a slight hint of bitter. I am not sure if it was the dried rosemary or the dried oregano that made it bitter, but the flavors still combined really well. I think the mushrooms and onions are the best part. Nice crimini mushrooms that hold their structure in the long braise mix with the melted onions in the sauce. Delicious. I actually looked for mushrooms more than the chicken.
- 2½ tablespoons paprika
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 chicken thighs
- 1 Tbsp Meat Seasoning
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 16 ounces crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sliced yellow onion
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups dark chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Heat a 10-inch, straight-sided saute pan over medium-high., When hot add the oil.
- Season the chicken thighs with the meat seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken, skin side down in the pan and sear until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over and sear on the second side for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and add the butter and mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook, stirring often to make a light brown roux, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, stock and rosemary to the pan, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- Return the chicken to the pan, skin side down and cook the chicken for 30 minutes.
- Turn the chicken over and cook until the meat is very tender, about 30 minutes.
- Serve the chicken and garnish with the chopped parsley.
The chicken was well seasoned, tender and stayed moist. It was a really good dish and really easy to make.
It’s my first try at an Emeril Lagasse recipe. I am a fan.