There are perhaps two universal truths that all of us (non-vegetarian) writers at The Kitchn share: a mutual love for flavorful, inexpensive chicken thighs and for rich, hearty braises. When the first is paired with the second, their powers know no bounds. And a braise might sound like more of a cold-weather meal, I really love the savory combination all year round — plus it's an easy one-pot dinner for weeknights. Here I added a plethora of bright bell peppers and sweet red onions to help shout "summer braise" from the rooftops.
What I love most about a braise is that it's so forgiving. In fact, once you've mastered the technique, you will never need to use a recipe again. Brown the meat, sauté some vegetables, deglaze the pan, and simmer — that really is all you need to know!
For a long time, I would break down a chicken into its various parts whenever I made a braise, but then I fell in love with chicken thighs and have never looked back. Whatever you want to use — thighs, breasts, wings, or drumsticks — the decision is up to you. And when it comes to vegetables, anything you have on hand should work. I am addicted to bell peppers and put them in anything I can, but summer corn, zucchini, tomatoes, and green beans would all taste great once they start showing up in markets.
I used chicken stock (because I always use chicken stock) but a good vegetable broth or even water would do in a pinch. White wine vinegar is my go to for deglazing the pan because I love the extra punch it gives, but regular white wine or any mild vinegar would do. Once the chicken braises, the last step is to reduce, reduce, reduce. This final step really concentrates the flavors of the sauce, making it perfect for drizzling over chicken and dousing over rice. It's addictive!
There is nothing revolutionary about this easy, breezy braise. It's just good, classic comfort food. And comfort food, as well all know, is always in season.
Braised Chicken Thighs with Bell Peppers and Onions
Serves 4 to 6
Wondra or all-purpose flour, for dredging
(Images: Nealey Dozier)