Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Braised chicken thighs and lemon risotto

Chicken thighs are tasty. They are quickly becoming my favorite part of the chicken to cook and eat, they have a great flavor, even though they aren't that good for you.

I hadn't gotten to the store in about a week and didn't feel like going so I was left to scrounge. I had some chicken thighs in the freezer but was looking for a new way to prepare them (I have been cooking them a number of different ways this summer but haven't posted about that yet).

So as I am apt to do when looking for a new recipe I went to Bittman and found a killer recipe in The Best Recipes in the World. I had just about everything I needed except for the bacon (yes, I know you are all shocked).

The original recipe calls for chopping up a few slices of bacon, cooking them until they're crisp along with some rosemary, thyme and a couple of cloves of fresh garlic. I used a little olive oil instead and cooked the garlic until it was brown and then removed it. You want the heat kind at least medium high at this point.

Then you add the chicken and brown on both sides for a total of 15 minutes. At this point you'll have quite a bit of liquid in the pan, mostly fat. Drain a good portion of it off, but leave a little. Now add half a cup of balsamic vinegar and half a cup of water. Let cook for a few minutes at high heat and then turn the heat down and cover. Cook for another 20 minutes or until chicken is done.

After chicken is cooked remove from pan. If the sauce is a little thin crank up the heat and cook down. The end result to a pan sauce that just tasted fantastic, a little sweet but chickeny, really good. Drizzle a little over the chicken and serve.

As a side I made a lemon risotto. It was pretty simple. I diced up a couple of shallots and a celery stalk and softened in a couple of tablespoons of butter. I then added the aboria rice and let cook for another couple of minutes before adding a cup of white wine. I just used water the rest of the way, adding a little as it cooked up. After the rice was done I added the zest of one lemon and its juice along with about a cut of Parmesan cheese. It had a nice subtle lemon flavor and paired nicely with the sweet balsamic sauce for the chicken.

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