I registered for a nice enameled cast iron braising dish for my wedding because it matched the rest of my Le Creuset set and I liked the idea of braising, but to be honest I just wanted it to have it, I had no idea how to braise. It seemed daunting. I don’t think I used it once before we moved to France, although to be fair, we moved to France only four months after our wedding. After settling in here I tried out a few braising recipes as I couldn’t live in the country where the technique originated, and have this French brand pan without knowing how to use it. Once I started I couldn’t stop. Braising is actually so easy and makes fall off the bone meat every time. It’s become part of my weekly routine and when it comes to chicken thighs I have really got it down. I created this recipe to share with you as it is a great starter braising recipe.
Braising is usuing a combination of dry and wet cooking, which essentially means using a pan that can move from stovetop where the food is seared and then after adding liquid, is moved into the oven to slow cook. With skin on bone in chicken thighs this yields crispy flavorful skin on top and fall off the bone tender meat. It is so good. In addition to perfectly cooked meat, braising gives you the most delicious liquid to spoon over your dish when serving. It pulls the flavor of the garlic we start with, and the chicken juices that cook out during the slow cooking method. It’s wonderful. The secret is to make sure you don’t add too much liquid to begin with as we want the flavor to be nice and saturated when we ladle it.
What Do I Eat This With?
I highly recommend serving this over rice – it’s perfect to pair with the chicken and soak up the braising liquid. While the dish stands on it’s own, you could also add another sauce of choice that pairs well with garlic such as soy or teriyaki. You could also serve with a good baguette or mashed potatoes. If you choose to eat the chicken with a dish without a carb to soak up the braising liquid, do not throw it out! Save it to use a stock in other recipes. It’s full of nutrients that cooked out of the chicken, almost like a homemade bone broth + the stock and garlic we added in.
Do I Have To Have A Braising Pan?
No! If you don’t have a braising pan, you can still make this recipe. You just need to make sure that you have a pan that is safe to go from stovetop to oven, is deep enough to add in the thighs & liquid, and can be covered to hold in the moisture while cooking. For example an enameled cast iron dutch oven with a big enough bottom, or an oven safe skillet that is deep enough would work.
Is This Recipe Baby Friendly?
It can be — depending on the age of your child you can make this recipe with a low sodium or homemade stock and skip seasoning the skin with salt — you can always season your dish at the time of meal, but this makes sure baby isn’t getting too much sodium. Also make sure that you are comfortable with the size of the pieces you rip off for your baby or child and that you take chicken off the bone for young babies due to how soft the bones get during braising. I didn’t serve my baby braised chicken until her pinscer grasp developed and she was eating small bites of cut food better. *I get my comfort level and information from following Solid Starts food guides for babies. It’s important that you make sure you are comfortable and know this is just how I modify and serve for my family and I am not a professional!
Garlic Braised Chicken Thighs
- 2 lbs Bone in chicken thighs
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup chicken stock
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 300' F
- Mince all the garlic & set aside.
- Add olive oil & butter to braising pan and heat on stove over medium heat.
- While pan is heating, pat chicken breasts dry & season the side with skin generously with salt & pepper.
- Add garlic to braising pan and stir one minute until garlic is fragrant. Add in chicken thighs, seasoned skin side down. Sear 15 minutes then flip so skin side is up.
- Add in chicken stock, cover, and move braising dish to oven.
- Braise two hours, remove from oven.
- Serve over rice, or with dish of choice – don't forget to ladle that braising liquid over your dish!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! If you make it I’d love to hear how you serve it up in the comments below.