Stewed Chicken Thighs, for any season
I've been making a version of this savory, simple stewed chicken thigh dish for over a decade now. Depending on the time of year, I'll add local asparagus in the spring, cherry tomatoes in the summer, fresh spinach in the fall, or a more hearty combination of root vegetables during the winter. Incredibly versatile and tender, getting a good sear on the chicken thighs first is important, then braising them with a mixture of seasonal vegetables and chicken stock makes for a wonderful weeknight feast. Follow my basic recipe below, but then add whichever spices and vegetables you have on hand to put this into your weekly dinner rotation. Serves 4-6
6 ea. boneless chicken thighs, about 1.5lbs total
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 vidalia onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 ea. medium red potatoes, roughly chopped
1 quart chicken stock
handful of fresh herbs, like parsley or basil, roughly chopped
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, optional for garnish
Begin to preheat a large, high sided skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Season the chicken on all sides with salt, pepper, and paprika.
Add the olive oil to the preheated pan, then add all of your chicken thighs skin side down, gently shaking the pan to avoid the chicken from sticking. Sauté for about 10 minutes, then flip each chicken thigh and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside, keeping the pan on the stove and lowering the heat to medium.
Add the onion and cook, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the seared chicken + juices until translucent, for about 5 minutes.
Add the carrot, celery, and garlic, stirring to combine and sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Then add the chopped potatoes.
Nestle the chicken thighs and their juices back into the vegetable mixture, add the chicken stock to the pan until mostly submerged, and bring the heat back to medium high until the stock begins to simmer.
Simmer the chicken thighs in the mixture for about 20 minutes uncovered, allowing the broth to reduce and thicken. Allow the chicken to cook through and the potatoes to become fork tender.
Once the chicken is cooked through, the sauce is reduced slightly, and the vegetables are tender, remove from the heat, transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with freshly chopped herbs. Taste for additional seasoning, add more salt and pepper, and a little grated Parmigiano Reggiano to each dish. Serve immediately.