Everyone meet Christopher. He’s a talented lawyer in San Francisco, cooking aficionado, and my future brother-in-law. I swear one day Chrystal and I are going to host a dinner party where we make every one of these Guest Test Kitchens. Each month, we’re teased with these fabulous dishes that we haven’t tasted. Luckily, Chris shared this recipe with me over the summer. I made it several weeks ago and am happy to report that it’s superb! It wasn’t a hard sell after all after reading “slow braised chicken thighs” in the recipe. I’m glad he decided to share this gem with you. Here’s Chris with the rest…
“This meal comes adapted from an Esquire recipe. It’s pretty straightforward and the single-pot cooking makes the whole process manageable. Easy and straightforward, though, doesn’t mean this is a quick meal. Make sure to give yourself about two hours before you sit down and eat — it’s called slow braising for a reason. And if you end up with extra after it’s all said and done, the meal makes for solid leftovers.
Braised Chicken in Salsa Verde – Serves 4 (Adapted from Esquire Magazine)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large chicken thighs, skin-on and bone-in, both sides seasoned with coarse salt and black pepper
2 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts, sliced into tenders
2 cups baby carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 jalapeños, sliced into rings (include seeds for more heat, if desired)*
Red pepper flakes, as desired
32 ounces canned salsa verde
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 – 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
15 ounces black beans, cooked
1 cup rice
Large braising pot & cover
Small pot to cook beans
Small pot to cook rice
Toss the chopped carrots, celery, onion, garlic and jalapeños into a mixing bowl. Set aside. In a braising pot on high heat, warm olive oil and place the chicken thighs skin side down (the chicken breast pieces are added later). Add a few shakes of red pepper flakes. You’ll be browning the chicken skin, which takes about 4-5 minutes. Once browned, flip the chicken thighs and add the previously chopped carrots, celery, onion, garlic and jalapeños. Use a wooden spoon to spread the vegetables around the pot. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until the vegetables start to sweat.
Add the salsa verde and chicken stock (add as much chicken stock as necessary to barely cover the chicken thighs and vegetables). Make sure to stir the salsa verde and chicken stock so they even out. Once the pot begins to boil (about a minute), turn heat to low and cover the braising pot (be sure to stir every 10 minutes or so). It will take another hour from this point before the braising is done, so plan accordingly.
After 30 minutes of braising on low heat, start the rice. (Any rice will do. It usually takes around 30 minutes to bring water to boil and cook).
After 40 minutes, add the sliced chicken breast to the braising pot (adding the breast pieces earlier will dry them out). Make certain that the sliced pieces get settled under the sauce so they cook. Start cooking the black beans on a slow burner, too.
After 50 minutes, add the chopped cilantro. Keep stirring.
After 60 minutes, uncover the braising pot and turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Your rice and beans should be cooked by now as well.
Serve a chicken thigh over the rice and beans, and ladle the sauce, vegetables and breast pieces over the entire dish.
*Jalapenos vary in heat, and sometimes you never know how spicy or how dull one will be. The amount of jalapenos in this recipe has been quadrupled from the original. Adjust according to your liking and tolerance for heat. Don’t forget there are red pepper flakes in this recipe as well.”
Click HERE for the printable recipe.
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