San Francisco has almost perfect weather year round for braising. When it’s chilly and foggy out and I want something tasty, yummy and comforting to eat, I braise. Braising is a classic moist heat cooking method that crosses cultures. I love braising boneless skinless chicken thighs for a couple of reasons. It’s fast, open to endless variations, reheats exceptionally well, is tasty and did I mention it’s fast?
This weekend, with rosemary fresh from my San Francisco herb garden and Nicoise olives in the fridge I decided to do a Nicoise style dish with chicken thighs. I added a strip of orange zest for a warm Mediterranean feeling. I included some baby fingerling potatoes from the Stonestown farmer’s market and got to work. You could easily add sundried tomatoes to this dish or roasted peppers. Either would be delicious. It was completed in an hour.
Nicoise Style Braised Chicken Thighs
3 slices prosciutto or pancetta, diced (optional)
1 carrot, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 ½# boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ cup flour for dredging the chicken thighs
1 Tbsp. Chopped Rosemary
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup of white wine
(1) 2” long strip of orange zest
1 cup of chicken stock
½ # new potatoes or fingerling potatoes, halved
½ cup mixed green and black olives (pits removed)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
- Trim the chicken thighs of excess fat, season with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.
- Heat a tablespoon or two oil in a wide saute pan with high sides. Brown the chicken thighs in the oil, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the prosciutto if using, carrot and onion to the pan and allow to brown slightly.
- Add the garlic to the pan and saute until aromatic.
- Deglaze with white wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the rosemary and orange zest to the pan along with the chicken thighs.
- Add the chicken stock and potatoes and bring up to a simmer.
- Cover and simmer until the chicken and potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Rinse the olives of excess salt or brine and add to the chicken.
- 10. Taste the sauce for seasoning and enjoy.