Paprika Chicken Braise

This one's a little weird but I love it.   Weird because I used globe artichokes that to eat, need to be pulled out and eaten with a bit of assistance from your hands, which will then need a napkin.  I found this fun and enjoyable but if it sounds odd use baby artichokes.  They're so cute.  

Serves 6.  

Paprika Chicken Braise 

1 lemon, halved

1 globe artichoke or 3 baby artichokes

s + p

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3-4 carrots, peeled, chopped

8 oz fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise

1 tablespoons sweet hungarian paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon cumin

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 big tablespoons tomato paste

1 heaping tablespoon flour (or gluten free flour of your choice) mixed into 3 tablespoons water

14 oz cups chicken stock

Fill a large bowl with cold water and juice from half a lemon.  Trim up the aritchoke(s) by removing an inch or so from the top, any spines and any nasty part from the stem.  For baby artichokes, remove tougher outer leaves down to the more yellow ones.  Cut in half, remove hairy choke.  A spoon works well for this.  Cut artichoke half into 4 pieces.  Place in cold lemon water.  Let them chill for about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside. 

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.  Heat a heavy bottom, lidded pot oven medium high heat and warm the olive oil.  Add chicken and brown for 2 minutes on each side.  Remove from pot and set aside.  

In the same pot, add onion.  Cook onion, while stirring for 2 minutes, until glossy and translucent.   (If you feel all brown crust of deliciousness at the bottom of the pan is going to burn, use a splash of white wine or stock to deglaze it.  Just puch the onions to the side of the pan and pour a bit of wine on the exposed crust.  Stir and scrap as it boils.)  Add garlic, carrots, potatoes and artichoke slices.  Cook, stirring until browned, about 5 minutes.  Add stock, tomato paste and flour water mix, stir to coat.  Slowly mix in the tomato paste, stock and wine.  Add paprika, cayenne and cumin.  Stir.  Bring to a boil.  Add chicken.  Bring back up to a boil.  Cover, 

Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, about 25 minutes.  (After 10 minutes of cooking I like to give it a stir.)  



Oven Braised Lemon Chicken + Mushrooms


Served this with wheat berries and sautéed kale.  The citrus really brightens the dish.  Chicken legs or thighs maybe substituted.  They are better for braising but I prefer chicken breast as it is leaner.  Dark meat will need a little longer to cook, about 45 minutes in the oven.  

Serves 4.

Oven Braised Lemon Chicken + Mushrooms

splash high heat oil (grapeseed, canola..)

2 Whole bone in, skin on chicken breasts, halved

1 small yellow onion, sliced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon chile flakes

10 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 a lemon, peel and pith removed, sliced

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs fresh thyme

s+ p

Heat oven to 350.  In  a dutch oven or heavy pot on the stove, heat a splash of oil over medium high heat.  Brown chicken very well.  About 4 minutes on each side.  Transfer chicken to plate.  Pour out any chicken grease.  

Lower heat to medium and brown onion, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, chile flakes, mushrooms and carrots.  Sautee 3 minutes.  Add stock, scraping bottom of pan.  Boil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken, skin side up.  Add lemon, bay leaves and thyme.  

Cover and braise in oven 30 minutes.   Remove from oven, skim off any fat and serve.