Quick-braised chicken with apricots

Easy method for tender meat and rich sauce!

Normally, braising is a cooking process that takes hours to achieve tender, flavourful meat. In this dish, searing the meat over high heat at the beginning significantly reduces the time required to produce succulent chicken bathed in a rich, flavourful sauce. You can omit the apricots if you like, or swap in dried cranberries or sliced prunes if you prefer. I like to serve this easy meal over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9 g) kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon (.6 g) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon (.6 g) each ground ginger and smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons (16 g) all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots (42 g), sliced
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Method

  • Heat oil in a deep, large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high until a drop of water flicked into the pot sizzles to indicate it is hot. Pat chicken dry. Season skin side of chicken evenly with 1 teaspoon salt and half the pepper, and place chicken, skin side down, in hot skillet; it should sizzle immediately. Cook, undisturbed, until well browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining pepper. Flip chicken, and cook, undisturbed, until browned on bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the pan drippings from the skillet.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low; add onion and cook, stirring often, until onion is softened and beginning to brown (about 15 minutes). Add sliced garlic and cook, stirring often, for 5 more minutes. Stir in ginger and paprika; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Increase heat to medium and add wine. Cook, stirring often, until wine is almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  • Sprinkle flour over top and cook, stirring gently, for 2 minutes. Gradually add chicken stock, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, until a thick sauce has formed. Stir in apricots. Return chicken, skin side up, to pan along with any juices. Bring to a simmer over medium-high.
  • Reduce heat to low; cover and gently simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Check for doneness with an instant-read thermometer; thickest part of chicken should register 165F.
  • Transfer chicken to a serving platter, ladling pan sauce over chicken. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over top and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Serves 4 – 6 (depending on size of chicken pieces).

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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