The braising method, which generally starts with a good sear then finishes in liquid, is perfect for chicken thighs because they won’t dry out and it creates this wonderfully delicious glaze to coat them. In this case, a wonderfully delicious, very garlicky glaze. Also, you should know that the cooking time for this recipe after the liquid is added can be stretched beyond the 20 – 25 minutes suggested. I had to leave to pick up a child from soccer then, unexpectedly, also had to drive her friend home so I stuck them in a 300-degree oven and they were in there for about 50 minutes. They were still perfectly tender, the flavor was amazing, and my family was very disappointed I didn’t make twice as much as I did. So, what I’m saying is that it’s very forgiving!
I had boneless, skinless chicken thighs on hand but this method also works well with bone-in, skin-on thighs. In that case, I would use 6 – 8 thighs, increase the amount of wine to 1 1/2 cups and increase the braising time to 45 minutes.
Braised Garlic Chicken Thighs
(Serves 4, although they may want more)
1 1/2 – 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/3 tsp kosher salt (approximately)
1 tsp dried thyme (or 1TB fresh if you have it)
freshly ground pepper
4 – 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 TB olive oil
3/4 cup white wine
Preheat oven to 325 degrees (This is optional as you can also finish on the stove.)
Season both sides of chicken with salt, thyme, and pepper. Yes, I do it right in the carton it came in, no need to dirty a dish and, in case you haven’t heard, you’re not supposed to rinse your chicken. Set aside while you prepare the garlic and heat up your pan.
Peel garlic cloves then slice them each, lengthwise, in 2 – 3 pieces.
Place 2 TB olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Heat on medium-high until hot enough to sizzle when you drop your chicken in. You can test it with the tiniest drop of water (more and it will splatter back at you).
Using tongs, transfer the chicken to the pan, making sure there is a bit of space in between each thigh. Allow it to brown on one side for 3 – 5 minutes, then add the garlic.
Reduce the heat to medium, then turn and continue to brown the chicken and the garlic (stir the garlic around frequently to be sure it doesn’t burn) for an additional 3 – 5 minutes or until the chicken is a nice golden brown on both sides.
Increase heat to medium-high and add wine. Allow it to bubble and reduce (burn off the alcohol) for about one minute.
Cover, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 -25 minutes on the stove or place in a preheated, 325-degree oven for the same amount of time. Toss the chicken in the pan glaze before serving. Garnish with fresh thyme if you have it on hand.
Have a hauntingly happy Halloween!!!