This easy braised chicken thighs recipe will deliver all the comfort, but with little work! Perfectly seasoned with a Mediterranean rosemary spice mixture, then cooked in a flavorful sauce with red wine, shallots, and mushrooms. Dried figs or apricots add a hint of sweetness, but not at all overwhelming. And we finish with a bright splash of lemon juice.
Be sure to check out the video tutorial and all the tips and suggestions below!
I get the attraction to chicken breast dinners. They are easy and convenient. But, there is something about perfectly braised chicken thighs--bone-in, skin on--that make them that much more special.
Let me tell you, this braised chicken requires little effort but delivers all the comfort! And it's about two things: flavor and technique.
Flavor Makers in this Braised Chicken Thighs Recipe
Let's address flavor first. Once the chicken thighs have been seasoned with salt, they are also coated with a spice mixture including some Mediterranean favorites like rosemary, paprika, coriander and allspice.
Remember, it is not enough to just sprinkle the spice mixture on the chicken thighs. For best results, be sure to lift the skins up and rub a bit of the spice mixture underneath. Then let it rest for a few minutes while you work on other things.
That's not all for flavor, though. We have aromatics in the form of shallots and garlic (lots of shallots and garlic); and dried figs (or apricots), which release a subtle sweetness to balance the acidity in the red wine sauce. A splash of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley are the finishing touches to brighten this warm braised chicken.
Tips for best braised chicken thighs
Perfectly braised chicken is all about crisp skin, and juicy tender meat. A couple of small tips get you exactly what you're looking for:
1. Sear the chicken thighs longer than you think. The obvious first step is browning the chicken thighs, but often, we're too eager to turn it over prematurely. Don't do that. Place your chicken skin side down first and let it sear for 8 minutes, undisturbed (resist moving the chicken, you can adjust heat if you notice excessive smoke.)
2. The braising liquid should only cover about ¾ of the chicken, leaving the skin exposed. Then, we braise the chicken in the oven uncovered, allowing the beautifully browned skins (we worked on so hard) to remain nice and crispy, while tenderizing the meat underneath.
Can this be made in advance and stored?
For our family of four, this recipe makes two chicken dinners. Leftovers are glorious! Simply refrigerate in a glass container with a tight lid for 2 to 4 days. Or you can freeze braised chicken in a freezer-safe container until a later time. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
To heat, place in a baking dish, add a little liquid (broth or water) to the bottom, not covering the chicken fully. Bake in a medium heated oven until warmed through.
What to serve next to these chicken thighs?
One of my favorite things to serve with this chicken is a simple side of Lebanese rice. Oh, and be sure to drizzle a little of the braising liquid on top...heavenly! Because this dish is hearty, I like to add a bright side salad like Greek green bean salad; Balela Salad; or Fattoush Salad.
Watch Video Tutorial for How to Make these Braised Chicken Thighs
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Easy braised chicken, seasoned with a Mediterranean rosemary spice mixture and cooked in a flavorful sauce with red wine, shallots, and mushrooms. Dried figs or apricots add a hint of sweetness, but not at all overwhelming. Finish with a splash of lemon juice and fresh parsley.
For Spice Mixture
- 1 tsp/ 1.20 g dried rosemary, more for later
- 1 tsp/2 g sweet paprika
- 1 tsp/ 1.2 g coriander
- ½ tsp/ 1.15 g black pepper
- ½ ts / 0.95 g ground allspice
- ½ tsp / 1 g nutmeg
- 8 chicken thighs, bone in, leave skin on but trim all extra skin/fat
- Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil
- 7 shallots, peeled and halved
- 10 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- ¾ cup dry red wine (you can also use white wine if you prefer)
- 2 cup low-sodium, reduced fat chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp/ 1.20 g dry rosemary
- 3 oz/ 85 g dry figs, halved (you can use apricots instead)
- 12 oz/ 340 g white mushrooms or Baby Bella mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and halved
- ½ lemon, juice of
- Fresh parsley, a handful for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, combine the spices to make the spice mixture.
- Pat chicken dry and season well with salt on both sides. Now season with the spice mixture on both sides (make sure to lift skin up and rub some of the spice mixture underneath.) Leave aside for 20 minutes or refrigerate uncovered for 2 hours if you have the time.
- In a large braiser or Dutch oven (like this one), heat 1 to 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking (be sure to coat the bottom well with the EVOO.) Add chicken, skin side down, and cook undisturbed for 8 minutes until golden brown (lower heat if it starts to smoke excessively.) Turn chicken over and brown on the other side briefly (about 3 minutes). Transfer chicken to a plate for now.
- To the pot, add shallots and garlic. Cook briefly over medium heat until softer and fragrant. Stir in tomato paste, wine, and broth. Add bay leaves and 1tsp dry rosemary. Season with just a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer for 4 minutes or so.
- Carefully nestle chicken into the liquid, making sure the liquid covers only ¾ of the chicken thighs leaving the skins exposed. Add dry figs (or apricots) to the pot. Bring to a simmer.
- Transfer chicken to oven and cook, uncovered, until totally tender and liquid has reduced by about half, about 40-45 minutes (Check half way through to be sure liquid is okay, you should still have some liquid in the end.)
- While chicken is cooking, heat a small non stick pan, adding a very small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Add mushrooms and saute.
- About 10 minutes or before the chicken has finished cooking, add mushrooms. Return to oven for those last 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Finish with lemon juice and a garnish of fresh parsley.
- Serve with Lebanese rice (making sure to get some of the pan juice on top). Add a side of Greek Bean salad, of balela salad or fattoush salad.
- Cook's Tip: to achieve extra crispy skin, be sure to follow step #4 and resist the temptation to move the chicken before skin is nice and golden brown. And when ready to add the chicken to the liquid, Step #6, carefully nestle chicken in making sure the skin remains exposed. Do not cover the pot when you place it in the oven to finish cooking.
- Cook's Tip for storing leftovers. For our family of four, this meal makes two dinners. Leftovers are glorious! Simply refrigerate in a glass container with a tight lid for 2 to 4 days. Or you can freeze in a freezer-safe container until a later time. Thaw overnight in the fridge. To reheat, place in a baking dish, add a little liquid (broth or water) to the bottom, not covering the chicken fully. Bake in a medium heated oven until warmed through.
- Recommended for this recipe: from our organic and all-natural spices collections, dry rosemary; sweet Spanish paprika; coriander; allspice; and nutmeg. SAVE! Try our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle or Create Your Own 6 Pack of spices!
- Recommended for this Recipe: Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil, from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives. SAVE! Try our Greek EVOO Bundle!
- Category: Entree/Poultry
- Method: Braising
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Braised Chicken, Braised Chicken Thighs,