Highlands Chicken

I am borrowing this recipe from Lea Ann over at Highlands Ranch Foodie. It’s a wonderful comfort dish. The flavors are so rich that it tastes like you went to a lot of work, but  you won’t believe how easy (like in weeknight easy) it is to make.

8 to 12 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks with a few leaves, sliced
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
6 garlic cloves, diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons whole grain or Creole mustard
1 tablespoon Triple-Sec
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Pat the thighs dry and arrange in a single layer on a plate (I use a 9×13 jellyroll pan). Season both sides of the chicken with half the salt and the all the black pepper.

Set a large, deep saute pan with a lid (or a wide, shallow Dutch oven) over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat until it shimmers.  Add the chicken thighs in a single layer and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the thighs have started to brown  – 8 to 10 minutes. Flip and repeat with the other side. Transfer thighs to a plate.

Add the celery, green pepper, onion, carrot, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and remaining salt to the pan and cook over medium heat until the onions are very soft – about 8 to 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and pour in the wine and Triple Sec.

Deglaze the pan, scraping to bottom get up the brown bits. Cook until the wine is slightly reduced, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, then add the broth and stir in the mustard.

Nestle the chicken thighs into the veggies, making sure they are at least half way covered in liquid. Cover the pan and move it to the oven.

Braise the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes. Then uncover and cook 20 minutes, until the thighs have browned up. Flip the thighs and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes to brown the other side.

Remove pan from oven and transfer chicken mixture to a serving dish. Serve over rice or sauteed spinach, or on its own with plenty of crusty bread for soaking up the sauce.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
This is a definitely a got-to-make-this-once-a-week kind of dish for the cold and dark months. Rich and complex taste, and the meat just melts off the fork.

I did stray a bit from the original recipe. It called for a 1/4 cup of raisins and a 1/2 cup of heavy cream. I can see where both would add a lot to the dish. While I don’t ever see that much cream in my future, I will make sure to add the raisins next time and maybe just a hint of cream.

The Nutrition:
Serves 4 to 6. Without the cream, thighs are about 200 calories, or 4 Weight Watchers points, and the veggies are free.

One year ago – Minimalist Ribs
Two years ago – Beef Short Ribs

4 thoughts on “Highlands Chicken

  1. Lea Ann

    I am SO glad you liked this chicken. And thanks so much for the shout out, always good to see your name in lights. :) Did you sneak some triple sec in there? I don’t remember triple sec, or I missed it. I like your recommendation of making it once a week during our cold months. After Thanksgiving I’ll have to plan to make it often. And maybe I can eventually get a good photo of the stuff. Geez it was hard to photograph. And Dave, you must sneak in a little cream next time and don’t forget those raisins.

    1. Dave Post author

      I didn’t have any orange oil, so Triple Sec was the best substitute I had on hand. I will have to get some and try it out (along with the raisins and cream). Thanks for the great recipe.

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