Tuscan Braised Chicken

Tuscan Braised Chicken

Details

Chicken thighs, tomato, garlic, shallots and white wine come together in a big way with this slow-braised dish. Think of it sort of like chicken cacciatore.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs - 3 hrs
  • Views: 46,364
  • Success: 100%

Steps

Step 1: Browning the Chicken

• kosher salt (for seasoning)
• freshly ground black pepper (for seasoning)
• 1 cup all-purpose flour (approx.)
• 12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs*
• 2 to 4 tbsp grapeseed or vegetable oil

Method

Add the flour to a large, shallow bowl. Generously season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat a large oven-proof Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, start dredging the chicken thighs in the flour mixture.

Once the pan is hot, add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken, skin-side down (you may have to cook a few batches). Let the chicken cook on the first side until golden brown. Flip over and continue to cook on the other side until golden.

Once all of the chicken has been browned, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Turn off the heat, remove any excess oil and reserve the pan for later. Do not wash out the pan.

*You may be tempted to use boneless, skinless thighs, but we encourage you to use bone-in, skin-on, as the fat and bone add flavor, moisture and texture to the final dish.

At this point, preheat the oven to 200 °F (95 °C). If you are short on time, you can cook the dish using higher heat. See the drill-down on “Oven Temperatures for Combination Cooking”.

Step 2: Preparing the Ingredients for the Sauce

• 3 shallots (approx. 3/4 cup)
• 6 large cloves garlic
• 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed, in oil
• 1 - 28 oz can whole tomatoes
• 1/2 cup white wine
• 1/4 cup sweet-spicy peppers*

Method

To start, peel and émincé the shallots and garlic. Next, drain the sun-dried tomatoes if necessary.

Mince the sweet-spicy peppers. If you cannot find sweet-spicy peppers, you can use pickled, hot banana peppers. You can also substitute 1/4 tsp or so of crushed chili flakes.

Next, strain and de-seed the tomatoes (reserve the juice for later). Roughly chop the tomatoes and set aside. Lastly, measure out the white wine.

Step 3: Cooking the Sauce

• 1 to 2 tbsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 tsp kosher salt

Method

Heat the same heat-proof casserole dish to medium. If needed, add a bit more oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the shallots and garlic. Sauté for about 30 seconds, just long enough to bring out their aroma. Deglaze with the white wine.

Once the wine has reduced, add the sun-dried tomatoes, spicy peppers and chopped tomatoes. Stir everything together and add the bay leaves. Lower the heat if the sauce starts to splatter.

Step 4: Assembling the Dish

Method

To assemble the dish, place the chicken skin-side up onto the sauce (preferably in a single layer).

Step 5: Adding the Stock

• 2 cups chicken stock (approx.)

Method

To finish, top up with chicken stock to cover the chicken by about two-thirds. If you need a bit more liquid, you can use the reserved tomato juice until you reach the two-thirds mark.

Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer. Cover and place into the oven for about 2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and fork tender.

If you choose to cook the dish at a higher oven temperature, this will take less time to cook.

Step 6: Serving the Dish

• kosher salt (to taste)
• freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Method

Once the dish is cooked through and tender, taste for seasoning. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.

This dish is great served with soft polenta, mashed potatoes or even fresh pasta.

45 Comments

  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    This dish highlights why braising is such a great method of cooking. For less than $4.00 per person you can make a delicious meal.
  • Rodrigo C
    Rodrigo C
    It's hearty and delicious. When I saw the recipe, I knew I had to try it, as braising is perhaps my favorite cooking method. I used chicken legs and added 3 oz of diced pancetta immediately after adding the garlic and the shallots and before pouring the wine. I just wondered if it might have been better to cook the pancetta before adding the garlic and shallots. That hint of bacon was there in the sauce anyway. After the chicken was cooked, I reduced the sauce until it got thicker (some 10 min on medium-high heat) and served with polenta (made with chicken stock). It tasted great and I'll sure repeat it. Thank you.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    For the pancetta I would say that you are correct in thinking that it may have been better to cook it before the garlic and shallots. This would cook out more of the fat and also give the pancetta a bit more flavor....not a huge deal though. Glad you liked the recipe. I am with you on the "braising is perhaps my favorite cooking method". I feel the same way, it's like magic!
  • Dotty C
    Dotty C
    How do you measure a shallot? Recipes may call for 2 or 3 shallots with no indication as to the quantity that makes (this recipe is an exception). Is a single shallot one part of the two that may be in the dry outer skin? Or is a single shallot everything inside the dry skin? This question has bothered me for quite a while. Experienced cooks, please solve this enigma for me. Thanks, Dotty in TX.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    It's hard to say the exact measurement for a shallot. Sometimes there are two cloves in one bulb…but they are small. And then sometimes a single-clove shallot will be quite large. (BTW… a ping pong ball-size is quite large). Generally if they are not really big I just think of them as one whether there are one or two cloves inside the skin. I don’t’ really over think it though…I sometimes just look at how much I have chopped and think…that’s enough…whether it was one, two or three shallots. That’s the beauty of shallots; they are one of those ingredients that you do not have to be very precise with. Here are a few more suggestions: If you are cooking with shallots, don’t worry so much about the exact measurement and err on the generous side as they add super flavor. If you are using them uncooked, like in a salad dressing, err on the less generous side as they can have a bit of an overpowering flavor when raw (like garlic). My last piece of advice (or exercise for you) is to chop a whole bunch of shallots (3 or 4 any size) and sweat them in butter for about 10 minutes then taste them. This is an amazing flavor to add to many dishes. Hope this helps! Good luck
  • Linda C
    Linda C
    I made this tonight for some rather picky friends, and it was wonderful. I read through the recipe a few times, and Dawn emphized picking the chicken with bones and skin. I was afraid the skin would be flabby etc., but because of Dawn's reason for picking the chicken with the skin and bones, I went ahead and followed the recipe, only change was adding mushrooms, because I was given some fresh mushrooms, and really wanted to use them. It was one of the best meals yet, served over polenta...thank you as always, you guys make me look good!!!
  • Ignacio R
    Ignacio R
    my wife is gluten intolerant. ignacio
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Cornstarch should work. I use cornstarch when I am making sweet and sour pork and it gives the pork a nice crust. Just be sure to brush off the excess cornstarch or the sauce could potentially become too thick, as cornstarch has more thickening power than flour does. Hope this helps!
  • Ignacio R
    Ignacio R
    very helpful!
  • David G
    David G
    Is the reason for 2/3 covering the chicken so that the skins stay out of the liquid and don't get all soggy-like? I just barely covered the chicken and although I liked it, my wife complained that the skins were gooey and not crispy. I did brown them of course for quite a while but I think being in the liquid they absorbed a lot of water.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    This dish is not meant to have crispy skin. The browning of the chicken simply provides more flavor to the dish. The liquid:meat ratios are covered in the lessons on Combination Cooking (this dish, by definition, is braised). The ratio is to provide a good balance of sauce to meat in the final dish, while also providing enough liquid for the meat to slowly cook and become tender. When using any combination cooking method, it's important to understand that you won't ever have a crispy or crunchy result. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Dan M
    Dan M
    I was thinking about the same thing, how to get the skin crispy. What if you placed the chicken legs under the broiler for about 15 minutes after the brasing is complete and before serving? I guess no one can stop me from trying but maybe someone made the mistake already me and I can learn from it... if it IS a mistake.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    You can certainly try it...but you might run the risk of drying out/toughening the meat. In the end, if you like it, that's all that counts. Cheers!
  • Jamie R
    Jamie R
    In the Stewing lesson "Building a Stew" (at 1:32) it recommends we don't coat the meat with flour as it can get in the way of browning. Would that mostly apply to red meat? The chicken still comes out with great colour, even with the flour, so am wondering when would we choose to coat with flour and when not to.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    You are on the right track. It also depends on the dish. Since this sauce is more difficult to thicken at the end of cooking (in a stew the sauce can be thickened in a variety of ways), the flour here will help to thicken the sauce slightly as it cooks. When making meat stews, some cooks do coat red meat with flour prior to browning. It's not that you "shouldn't" do it, we just believe you can get better browning and better results if the meat isn't coated in flour. Having said that, in the end, it is up to you to see which method you prefer. Hope this helps! Cheers!
  • Robert S
    Robert S
    Rouxbe, I'm thinking about making this dish for my wife's birthday tomorrow, and I want to ask a few questions ahead of time, just to make sure I got it right. First, I was wondering whether the tomatoes need to be "roughly chopped." If I de-seed with my passatutto, of course, it will be a puree. Should I skip the passatutto this time around and do it by hand? Second, I have some nice sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge, but they're not packed in oil. Can I go ahead and use those? Third, I want to use four quarters (since I already have them), instead of 12 thighs. Is that a bad idea and does it affect the recipe in any other way? Last - and sorry to be a nuisance - can you recommend a vegetable side?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    To answer your questions... 1) The tomatoes do not need to be roughly chopped but this does give them a nice rustic texture. If you use the passatutto (which you can) the sauce will just be smoother like more of a tomato sauce. As to whether you should skip the passatutto and do it by hand...this is up to you. 2) Yes you can use sun-dried tomatoes that are not packed in oil they will work just fine. Even if the tomatoes are not as moist as the ones in oil they will work as there is plenty of sauce to rehydrate the tomatoes (if needed). 3) You do not have to just use thighs. Just remember that any breast meat will dry out if it is over cooked as lean white meat is not ideal for braising. 4) Vegetable sides...there are many sides that would go with this. Roasted cauliflower, glazed carrots, rapini, green beans etc. I think last time I made this I served it with these Sauteed Carrots. For more ideas you can always type in "vegetables" in the search field or click on "sides" to the left of the recipe page. Good luck and Happy Birthday to your girlfriend. Can't think of a better gift then having someone you love cook for you :-)
  • Gloria M
    Gloria M
    I made this tonight for supper, and as usual, it was delicious. Also as usual, I made too much. Can I freeze some of the leftovers?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Indeed you can freeze the leftovers if you like. In fact, awhile back, I made a big batch of this and then froze it in smaller portions for my mom and she said it was great...but then again she is my mom :-)
  • Gloria M
    Gloria M
    I know how important 'Choosing the Right Pot' is. However, once I have browned the chicken and cooked the sauce (that is, to the end of Step 3) in my 3-qt Le Creuset dutch oven, is there any reason I couldn't assemble the dish in a glass (remember the old Corningware Visions) casserole? It's the largest dish I have in terms of 'floor space' to place the chicken in s single layer. Do you happen to know if Visions can be used on the stove-top to bring the sauce to a simmer?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You could certainly transfer everything to your glass casserole dish if you need to. As for whether or not you can use "Visions" on the stove-top, I am not sure of this as I am not familiar with the product specifically. Perhaps check their website (if they have one) or you could search online. There is also this Rouxbe forum thread that talks a fair bit about glassware on a stovetop here: http://rouxbe.com/search?q=glass+stovetop&type%5B%5D=Forum+Discussions Cheers!
  • Gloria M
    Gloria M
    Thanks, Dawn. I will certainly investigate further before I chance it.
  • Kristy S
    Kristy S
    I don't have this kind of cookware. After searing the meat and sauteing the vegetables, could everything be transferred to a crock pot to be cooked on low for 2-3 hours? When done, the sauce can be strained into a sauce pan and finished. Is this an alternative? Would the cooking time be longer in a crock pot?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yes you could do as you described. As for whether it would take longer to cook in a crock pot, the answer is likely no, as a crock pot usually cooks things at about 190F and this recipe calls for the temperature to be set to 200F. Really though it's done when it's done, so be sure to check the meat. Cheers!
  • Jennifer K
    Jennifer K
    I made this dish today and served it over noodles. Only, I doubled the recipe, but only used half of the stock. I still found the sauce fairly runny. I actually doubled it to serve at a luncheon tomorrow. Should I reduce the sauce or add a slurry? Or, is it supposed to be rather thin?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    How much the sauce thickens will depend on a few things, such as, how gelatinous your stock was etc. But, ultimately, the final consistency is up to you, if you feel it could be a bit thicker then you could add a slurry or a Beurre Manie. Also, as you mentioned, the sauce could be reduced but you would only want to do that if the sauce didn't become too strong or salty once reduced. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Gavin A
    Gavin A
    Absolutely fantastic. Thanks!
  • Mark M
    Mark M
    Can anyone tell me how to find the attached drill downs in the recipe?
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Hi Mark, http://rouxbe.com/recipes/1864-tuscan-braised-chicken/text?tab=recipes Go to the tab to the left that says "Related Videos". This will take you there. Enjoy!
  • Mark M
    Mark M
    Joe, I went to the related videos but none of the ones referenced in the recipe seem to be there. I was looking for the one called "choosing the right cookware" Thanks
  • Jim C
    Jim C
    http://rouxbe.com/cooking-school/lessons/214-choosing-a-pot-for-combination-cooking Don't you mean "choosing a pot for combination cooking"? It's on that page Joe refers to.
  • Mark M
    Mark M
    Joe/Jim, Thanks for the help, I finally found the video and the recipe worked really well, my wife really enjoyed it. It was my first since joining the website so I am on my way. One question I had was whether there was a type of white wine that typically works the best for deglazing. I used a Chardonnay that I would drink myself and it seemed to work well but I was wondering if there was anything in paticular to look for when picking the wine to use. Thanks again
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    If you type in "wine" in the search field you will quite a few forum discussions on types of wine for cooking etc. You may want to check out some of the posts from Patrick O as he has posted quite a bit of good information on cooking and pairing wines. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Ron B
    Ron B
    We had 16 people for dinner last night and I made this chicken dish for the main event. It was delicious and everyone was complimentary. The sauce was amazing and the meat fell off the bone. With 30 pieces of chicken, obviously it had to be browned in batches. Oil had to be constantly drained from the browning pot, sometimes in the middle of a batch. If there is too much oil, it won't brown nicely to get that lovely caramelized outer color and flavor. The recommendation to arrange the pieces, skin side up, in a single layer became evident. The caramelized skin maintains its color and crispness when cooked uncovered. Unfortunately, with such a large batch, I had to arrange them in two layers in two dishes. The top ones were best but with the sauce covering them on the serving plate it worked out okay. Served it with mashed potatoes. The sauce needed a little thickening at the end with a flour water mix. This is way better than Chicken Cacciatore. The good news continues. We have left overs for tomorrow.
  • Jennifer M
    Jennifer M
    This will be the first time that we have braised chicken and I was wondering if the sauce will be full of grease like with the beef short ribs? Do I need to skim it off or cool and remove fat to help with the sauce? Love Rouxbe recipes!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    No, it shouldn't have as much fat as you usually get from short ribs; however, you can still skim off any fat from the surface of the dish prior to serving. Cheers!
  • Mary F
    Mary F
    What are sweet-spicy peppers? I am unfamiliar with these. Is this a fresh produce item or canned? Would I need to find a specialty store for it? Really want to try this recipe! Thanks.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    These are the type of peppers that we used for this recipe. They come either mild or hot. Cheers!
  • Mary F
    Mary F
    Thanks Dawn. I've never seen these before! Something new to try!
  • Bruce H
    Bruce H
    Dawn; It would help if the Rouxbe recipes listing could be grouped by type - chicken, beef, breakfast, desert, etc. etc. To recover the recipe for Tuscan chicken I had to go through page after page. Some general headings and groupings would help - maybe even cross listed - Asian, vegetable, pasta, Italian, Greek, etc. etc. Bruce
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Bruce, this feature is something that we generally have. Unfortunately the ability to filter recipes was just something that was lost when we upgraded the site. It is on our current "to fix" list. Stay tuned and sorry for any inconvenience. In the meantime, use the search feature on Rouxbe (top right of each page) to search for things like either "chicken" or "Tuscan chicken". Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Ian
    Ian
    I always find that when braising chicken, the skin tends to get soft and loses the crispy texture that pan cooking it gives it. Am I adding too much liquid or not properly arranging the chicken with skin out of the water? Or is this just what happens with this cooking style. Any input would be helpful. Thanks!!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Ian -When you braise, the moist heat will always diminish the crispness or texture that was created when browning or searing. Even if the skin was out of the water, it would still be steaming and thus enveloped in moisture. If crispy skin is what you seek, try a dry cooking technique (roasting). ~Ken
  • Ian
    Ian
    Hi Ken, I just wanted to make sure that i wasnt doing anything wrong. Thanks and have a good day!
  • Oleg D
    Oleg D
    Reality enjoyed cooking it and putting the newly acquired skills to work. However please note that at 95ºC it needs more like 4-5 hours to really cook through and for the sauce to thicken nicely.

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