So, here’s how this happened. I went to Costco to stock up for my 21 day sugar detox (you should subscribe to Diane Sanfillipo’s web site to get her shopping lists), and bought organic chicken thighs to make DIane Sanfilippo’s “mustard glazed chicken thighs,” (also obsessed with those, so you should definitely check them out too). When I got home, I realized that I bought SKINLESS chicken thighs, which just aren’t as fun, right? I started brainstorming about what I could make with all these freakin’ skinless chicken thighs, now that crispy chicken skin was not going to be in my near future (waa!). I hit “the Google” and came across a Martha Stewart recipe for braised chicken thighs, which included all kinds of non-Paleo things like FLOUR (eh, no), so I just came up with my own spin on her recipe and made it 21 day sugar detox friendly too! SCORE!
Here is how I did it:
In my cast iron skillet, I heated some coconut oil (you could use any cooking fat, that is just what I had on hand) pretty stinkin’ hot and (after rinsing, pat drying the thighs, and sprinkling them with salt and pepper) seared the chicken thighs until they reached a pretty brown color. I then put them on a plate, and sautéed onions and mushrooms in that same cast iron pan. The mushrooms and onions loosened up the stuck on chicken goodness from the bottom of the pan and made the house smelled delicious. I added some whole garlic, just for kicks, and once the veggies were all sautéed, I added the chicken thighs back into the cast iron skillet. I needed a braising liquid, so I chose chicken broth, and added it until the thighs were mostly covered, put a lid on the skillet and placed the skillet with the veggies and the chicken into the 400 degree oven for like 30-40 minutes. (If I wasn’t on the sugar detox, I probably would have added some balsamic vinegar to the skillet prior to adding the chicken broth and using that to deglaze the pan and coat everything in some balsamic goodness. I’ll try that next time.). After removing the skillet from the oven, I set the chicken thighs on a plate and checked their temperature to make sure they were cooked fully, and heated the skillet with the veggies on the stove top again. I then added a big handful of the spinach/kale mix that I get from Costco, and just heated the veggies until the spinach/kale wilted to a level that I like. After reaching the desired “wilty-ness” (have I mentioned that I love making up words?!), I added the chicken thighs back to the skillet. And then I ate some of that deliciousness. I ate the heck out of that dish and had LOTS left over to take to work during the week. I played around with a second batch and added green olives and crushed tomatoes — also awesome, but the mushroom/garlic is my favorite version for sure. This is a pretty easy dish and it looks impressive — would probably be great to cook for someone coming to dinner for the first time. The braising makes the chicken thighs so freakin’ flavorful. You guys are going to love it. Trust me.