Saturday, December 31, 2011

Braised Chicken Thighs with Winter Vegetables

Sometime, mid to late December, in the midst of many cookies, candies, treats, and parties, I realized my veggie intake had gotten way too low for my liking.  I’m normally a big fan of veggies, but especially since I’m eating for two, I want to provide BOTH our bodies with the nutrients vegetables can give.  So, while this meal definitely falls under the “fugly” category, I’ve decided to blog it anyway.

Normally, whenever we eat a dinner with chicken thighs, Nathan will eat 2 thighs.  As he’s said many times in the past, he just needs meat, and a lot of it, to feel full.  With potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onion, and even an apple, this meal has plenty of vegetables and even a fruit!  I loaded his plate up with lots of veggies, and put on one chicken thigh, fully expecting him to go back for more chicken.  I was very surprised when he finished his plate and said “Thanks for dinner, that was really good.  I’m full.”  I think the bacon really adds so much flavor to this dish.  The best way to eat a well rounded (non-vegetarian) meal in my opinion is with lots of flavor, lots of veggies, and a little bit of meat.  Some people might shy away from bacon, or chicken thighs, because of the fat.  While it’s true chicken thighs have more fat than breast, the flavor is so much better.  Besides, the amount of meat we ate filled us up more than the same amount of white meat would have.  It may not be the prettiest meal, but this one’s definitely a keeper!


Braised Chicken Thighs with Winter Vegetables

Yield: 4 servings

This recipe is from Everyday Food, by chef Floyd Cardoz, recent Top Chef winner. He suggested for added flavor, to marinate the chicken. Because I had time, and the ingredients, I did. I recommend it if you have the time too, but I'm sure this recipe will be fine without.


Optional Marinade:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 sprigs rosemary

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), patted dry
coarse salt and ground pepper
3 slices bacon, diced medium
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 sweet onion, such as Vidalia, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 small Savoy cabbage, cored and thick ribs removed, cut into 1/2-by-2-inch strips
1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith or Mutsu, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


Optional Marinade: Combine marinade ingredients in medium container and whisk to combine. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, until ready to cook.

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large ovenproof pan, heat oil over medium- high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook until browned on both sides, 8 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate. Reduce heat to medium, add bacon and garlic to pan, and cook until bacon fat is rendered, 5 minutes. Add onion, potato, and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and bake 20 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and stir in cabbage, apple, red-pepper flakes, broth, and mustard. Add chicken, return to oven, and bake until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring vegetables halfway through.

per serv: 418 cal; 17 g fat (5 g sat fat); 33 g protein; 32 g carb; 5 g fiber

adapted from the Jan/Feb issue of Everyday Food (not online at this point)

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