These Five-Ingredient Braised Chicken Thighs Pack A Punch Thanks To An Unexpected Ingredient
If there's one cooking technique that's synonymous with fall, it's braising—and if there's a protein that's well suited to braising, it's chicken thighs. The best thing about cooking this way is you don't need a ton of ingredients for tons of flavor—just a bit of patience.
This simple recipe uses only five ingredients (if you don't count the few pantry staples like salt, pepper, olive oil, and flour) but has plenty of zing thanks to horseradish. The pungent, spicy flavor fits right in with the slightly sour tomatoes and salty broth.
"This is a unique dish that utilizes a few ingredients and cooking techniques to create a comforting meal," writes Rebecca White in The Ultimate 5-Ingredient Cookbook. "The horseradish and tomatoes, when cooked together, create a sauce perfect for braising chicken thighs. The lemon juice and zest complement the braising sauce and help to tie the dish together."
Tomato & Horseradish Braised Chicken Thighs
Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 6 to 8 chicken thighs, excess skin trimmed
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 (28-oz.) can whole tomatoes
- 3 tbsp. horseradish
- 2 lemons (zest from 2 lemons and juice from 1 lemon)
- 1 tbsp. flour
- Chicken thighs tend to have quite a bit of excess skin. When braising, this skin can become unpleasant, so I like to remove a good portion with kitchen shears. I leave just enough to cover the thigh meat. Don't forget to salt the meat under the skin. Remember, the larger the thigh, the longer the cook time will be.
- Be sure to zest the lemons before extracting the juice. If there are any fresh herbs in your fridge, like basil or tarragon, use them as a topping when serving the chicken.
- Heat the oven to 375°F.
- Evenly distribute 1½ teaspoons of the salt on the chicken thighs. Be sure to salt under the skin.
- Add the oil to a Dutch oven or braising pan and warm over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, about 4 minutes, add the chicken thighs to the pan, skin side down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the skin is golden. Flip and brown the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Depending on the size of the pan, this may have to be done in two batches.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the chicken stock. Deglaze the pan, being sure to scrape up any pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, horseradish, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and the lemon zest and juice. Stir well to combine. Return the chicken and its juices to the pan. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Remove the chicken and cover with foil to keep warm. Scoop out the tomatoes, place into a blender and puree. Add the flour to the blended tomatoes and blitz until well combined. Pour the tomato mixture back into the braising pan and place onto the cooktop. Simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes to thicken. Serve the chicken topped with the sauce.
Reprinted with permission from The Ultimate 5-Ingredient Cookbook by Rebecca White, Page Street Publishing Co. © 2021. Photo credit: Rebecca White.
Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.