Spice Blend Recipe Page Banner - TUSCANY

RECIPE:  SIMPLE BRAISED CHICKEN

 

Moist, falling-off-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!

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PREP TIME:  5 min

STOVE TIME:  Wonderbag Method 45 min

SERVES:  4

INGREDIENTS
FOR THE CHICKEN

  • Salt and pepper

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

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

  • 1 sachet TASTE OF TUSCANY spice blend

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • ½ cup (120 ml) white wine

  • Water to partially cover

 

OPTIONAL GARNISH*

  • 6-8 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 6-8 thin slices of lemon

 

Taste of Tuscany Spice Blend
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)  Tip in the TASTE OF TUSCANY spice blend and cook for one minute,  just until spices start to turn golden.

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

 

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)  OPTIONAL:  Place rosemary sprigs around the chicken pieces and top with lemon slices.

 

8)  Bring to a boil, 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)  Tip in the TASTE OF TUSCANY spice blend and cook for one minute,  just until spices start to turn golden.

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

 

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)  OPTIONAL:  Place rosemary sprigs around the chicken pieces and top with lemon slices.

 

8)  Bring to a boil then transfer to the oven and cook, covered (with lid or foil), for 2 hours.

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

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FINISH UNDER THE GRILL/BROILER

When ready to serve, remove foil or lid (if using a Wonderbag, remove pan from Wonderbag and remove the lid).

.

Turn your oven heat source to broil/grill (top heat) and place uncovered 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.

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

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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!

I like to add the rosemary and lemon when I have guests, as it just looks pretty..and it does another layer of flavour.

That said, I skip those ingredients when I don't have them to hand, and the flavour never suffers.  :-)

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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