Chicken thighs are the underdog of poultry parts. Pristine breasts and sauce-smothered wings seem to get all the attention these days, especially the former. As a fat-fearing nation, we go right for those plump, skinless breasts, shelling out a pretty penny for very little flavor! I’ve cooked chicken breasts aaaalll sorts of ways, and it is nigh impossible to make the inside of a breast flavorful. Juicy and tender, sure, but still plain.
Chicken thighs, on the other hand, are remarkably affordable AND they taste fantastic—especially if they’re organic and free-range. These happy chickens need more blood flow in their thighs to run about, which results in tender meat and a complex, delicious taste. Once you go thigh, you’ll never go back!
Most grocery stores now sell boneless skinless thighs, so if prep difficulty is your concern, never fear. I trim any superfluous fat, but thighs take best to low and slow cooking, which melts the fat into a luscious sauce…so you want to keep most of it.
Truly, braising is a beginner cook’s best friend, and I highly encourage you to try this simple,
thigh sigh-worthy recipe. To create an unctuous but healthy sauce, I use spelt flour for my roux, and unrefined coconut sugar instead of white. Meaty mushrooms and earthy rosemary cook down into perfect union and compliment the fall-apart tender thighs.
Braised Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6-8 boneless, skinless organic free-range chicken thighs
- Spice Mixture (combine all in small bowl):
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
- 16 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons spelt flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1.Set a 10-inch, straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Season the chicken thighs with Spice mixture, salt and pepper.
2.Place the chicken, skin side down in the pan and sear until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over and sear on the second side for another 3 to 4 minutes.
3.Remove the chicken from the pan and add the butter and mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes.
4.Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook, stirring often to make a light brown roux, about 4 to 5 minutes.
5.Add the tomato paste, coconut sugar, rosemary and stock to the pan, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
6.Return the chicken to the pan, skin side down and cook the chicken for 30-35 minutes, turning several times throughout.
This rich, hearty dish will have you diving for seconds! I hope this recipe becomes a staple in your home, making your wallet and your family happy. Remember, don’t fear the fat when it’s coming from high-quality sources, and give thighs a try!