Tag Archives: Chicken


This slightly-involved, but VERY tasty recipe comes to us from the Lake Austin Spa cookbook, “Fresh.” Page 98, to be exact. In this recipe, we will roast, then toast, then puree, then puree again, then brown, then sauté, then simmer, so get ready.

The Roasting:

Slice the top off of one garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil and a little salt and pepper, and wrap in foil. Place the wrapped garlic bulb, 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thickly, 4 medium tomatoes, 3 husked tomatillos, and 1 poblano chile onto a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

The Toasting:

Toast 2 ancho chiles in a cast iron skillet for a few minutes, turning them frequently. After toasting, seed the chiles and soak them in a bowl of hot water for 20 minutes.

The Pureeing:

Take the veggies that were just roasted and puree them in a food processor. Make sure you squeeze the garlic pulp out first–don’t puree the skins. Remove from the food processor and set aside.

More Pureeing:

Combine the ancho chiles, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cloves in the food processor, along with a little chicken stock to thin it out.

The Browning:

Salt and pepper 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you could absolutely make this with boneless skinless thighs and it would be awesome, too) cubed. Brown this in heavy skillet (make sure the skillet or pot is big enough, because this is what you’ll be adding everything to later) with a few tbsp olive oil. Remove the chicken from the skillet.

The Sauteeing:

Add a few teaspoons olive oil to the same skillet, along with the ancho chile puree, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, and scraping up any brown bits leftover from the chicken.

The Simmering:

To the sautéed ancho chile paste, add 1 1/2 c chicken stock, 1/2 pound peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp raisins, 1 c peeled cubed fresh pineapple, 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced, the roasted vegetable puree (remember that from 18 steps ago?!) and the browned chicken. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.

To serve, prepare black beans and rice (separately). Spoon rice into 1/2 of a shallow bowl, and spoon beans into the other half. Serve the manchamantel over it, and garnish with cilantro. I added a little non-dairy sour cream to it as well–I highly recommend doing that.

Crispy Braised Chicken with Oranges, Rosemary, and Onions

Braising chicken has become my go-to back up dinner because it is easy, always a crowd-pleaser, hands-off once in the oven, and it offers the opportunity to creatively use leftover fruits, veggies, and herbs. This time I had onions and oranges that needed to be used up, so I added a little rosemary to the combo and it resulted in a dish with a Mediterranean vibe. I have also made this with fennel in place of onions, and with a combo of oranges and lemons. Oregano or thyme would work great in place of rosemary as well.

I used to just braise slowly at 325 until the chicken was tender and done, but my daughter recently asked if we could figure out a way to make the skin crispy after braising. I agree with her that crispy skin is better, so we found a solution–pop on that broiler for the last 5-8 minutes. It worked beautifully!

Season your chicken the day before (salt both sides, pepper if that’s your thing) and refrigerate. If you forget to do this, take the chicken out of the fridge an hour before cooking, and season it then. In any case, let the chicken rest at room temp for an hour before cooking.

While you’re waiting for the chicken to warm up out of the fridge, slice 2-3 oranges (enough to cover the bottom of whatever pan you’re using to braise) into 1/4 inch-thick slices. Slice 1-2 onions the same way.

Pre-heat your oven to 425.

Start the cooking process by browning your chicken pieces in a skillet over medium heat. Now, ideally you would be browning your chicken in your braising dish, but I don’t have one (yet! hint, hint, family!) that is the right size and can go on the direct heat of the burner. I have a Le Creuset dutch oven, but it is just a bit too tall and narrow for braising. So I used a separate skillet and just moved everything over into a roasting pan after I was done browning the meat and cooking the onions.

I like to use dark meat, so we used chicken leg quarters and a few extra drumsticks for my son who eats them like one of those cartoon characters who just sucks the meat right off the bone.

Tips for browning: use a pan or skillet with shallow sides and space the pieces several inches apart (i.e., don’t overcrowd the pan). Following those two rules will help you brown your pieces without accidentally steaming them. Put a little bit of oil in the pan, heat it on medium heat, and start skin side down, then flip and do the other side. Set the chicken aside on another plate.

Move the browning pan off of the heat, and add 1/2 c white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping off the brown bits. Then cook the onions for a few minutes in the deglazing juices, just until they start to turn translucent.

To assemble the braising dish, lay rosemary sprigs on the bottom of the pan–I used about 5-6 sprigs. Cover evenly with the cooked onions, then arrange the orange slices evenly on top of the onions. Lay the chicken pieces on top of the onions in one layer. Add 3/4 cup white wine to the dish, followed by enough chicken stock to come halfway up the sides of the chicken pieces.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 10 minutes or so or until the liquid is simmering (don’t check too frequently or it’ll cool down each time you open the oven and lift the foil). Once it bubbles, turn the oven down to 325 and cook until the chicken is done. Use a meat thermometer or poke the thigh to see if the juices run clear. If they do, it’s done.

Remove the foil and crank on the broiler. Broil for 5 minutes, then check to make sure the skin is not burning. Broil, watching very carefully after 5 minutes, until the skin is a nice golden brown and then remove from the oven and enjoy!