SIMPLE BRAISED CHICKEN

 

Moist, falling-of-the-bone chicken with a crispy skin?  Yep, combining the techniques of Wonderbag slow-cooking with 5 minutes under the broiler (grill) in your oven, you can have it all.  Flavor, texture, down-home goodness!

PREP TIME:  5 min

 

COOK TIME:

Conventional Method:  Allow 2 hours to slow cook

Wonderbag Method:  Plan 30 minutes on the stove, can sit 2 hours or all day in the Wonderbag

 

SERVES:  4

INGREDIENTS
  • Salt and pepper

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

  • 4 whole chicken legs (drumstick and thigh), on the bone with skin (or 8 thighs, on the bone with skin)

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ cup (120 ml) white wine

  • Water to partially cover

  • 6-8 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 6-8 thin slices of lemon

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
WONDERBAG METHOD

 

1)  Salt and pepper your chicken on both sides. 

 

2)  Heat a 2½ quart (3 litre), shallow braising pan (with short side handles) on medium-high.  Add olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides (about 3 min per side), browning the skin-side first.  Remove from pan and set aside.

 

3)  Add onions, and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden.

 

4)  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

 

5)  Add the wine to deglaze the pan, stirring vigorously to dislodge any browned yummy bits.

 

6)  Place the browned chicken on top of the onion mixture, and pour in enough water to just come up the skin-line of the chicken, taking care not to submerge the skin.

 

7)  Place rosemary sprigs around the chicken pieces, top with lemon slices and bring to a boil.

 

8)  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

 

9)  Seal your lidded pot in the Wonderbag and leave it to cook for a minimum of 4 hours (best to leave it 6-7 hours for the falling-off-the-bone effect).

CONVENTIONAL METHOD

 

Preheat your oven to 350F / 180C

1)  Salt and pepper your chicken on both sides. 

 

2)  Heat a 2½ quart (3 litre), shallow braising pan (with short side handles) on medium-high.  Add olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides (about 3 min per side), browning the skin-side first.  Remove from pan and set aside.

 

3)  Add onions, and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden.

 

4)  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

 

5)  Add the wine to deglaze the pan, stirring vigorously to dislodge any browned yummy bits.

 

6)  Place the browned chicken on top of the onion mixture, and pour in enough water to just come up the skin-line of the chicken, taking care not to submerge the skin.

 

7)  Place rosemary sprigs around the chicken pieces, top with lemon slices and bring to a boil.

 

8)  Transfer to the oven and cook, covered, for 1½ to 2 hours.  Until chicken is tender.

 

9)  Monitor the water level and add more if it cooks down too far.

FINISH UNDER THE GRILL/BROILER

When ready to serve, turn your oven on to broil/grill (top heat), remove pan from Wonderbag (if using), remove the lid, and place pan under the broiler (grill) in your oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the chicken skin starts to crackle.

SERVE

Remove rosemary springs and discard.

 

Use a large spatula to place chicken on individual plates, as the chicken will be nearly falling off the bone (thus trying to use tongs could be a bit messy).

 

Pour sauce into a pitcher, gravy boat, or spoon a bit of sauce over each piece.  Serve over beans or grains, or along side vegetable or salad of choice.

PICTURED BELOW:  Served over Taste of Tuscany White Beans & Spelt

Recipe & Photo Credit:  Cathy Menees

COOK'S NOTES

INGREDIENTS

 

If you can use 4 whole chicken legs, or 8 thighs, or 10 drumsticks.  Whatever you can find, and whatever will fit in your pan!

WONDERBAG

 

The Wonderbag isn’t just about soups and stews, or ‘wet food’, as someone once called it.  By only submerging your chicken part way, leaving the skin exposed, you can let the Wonderbag to all the heaving lifting in the flavor development and tenderizing space, then the pop the pan under the broiler in your oven just before serving to caramelize and crisp up the skin.  The crispy, browned skin gives it that ‘oven-roasted’ punch, without the drying out that usually occurs in the oven.  Best of both worlds!.

 

NO WONDERBAG?

While the Wonderbag delivers the best results I've found for braising meat without drying it out, you can of course make this dish without a Wonderbag.  Experiment with letting it finish cooking on the stove, or in the oven (on a low heat setting).  You will just need to monitor the water level as you will have evaporation.

PAN SIZE

 

My go-to pan for braising in the Wonderbag is a round, 2½ quart (3 litre) Le Creuset, cast iron pan that measures 11 inches (30cm) in diameter, and almost 2.5 inches (6cm) deep (with a tight fitting lid of course).  This is a perfect size to fit 4 whole chicken legs or 8 chicken thighs.

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