Simple and Good Braised Chicken
This is such a simple chicken recipe, that it risked being called “Chicken With No Name.” It is endlessly adaptable, depending on available ingredients, personal preferences, time and circumstances. I have made it several times over the past few weeks, and it is always a hit.
1 chicken cut in parts, skinned
Optional: leave skin on and sear the chicken pieces until browned for added flavor
2 -3 carrots, sliced
2 onions, sliced
2 celery stalks with leaves, cut in 1″ pieces
Optional: 1-2 parsnips, or other vegetables. Don’t add too many vegetables, or else the chicken will be overwhelmed. The more simple, the better the outcome.
Salt, to taste. Add the salt sparingly after it is cooked. Kosher chicken tends to be salty, and too much salt ruins the flavor.
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Optional: paprika adds a nice flavor and color
2 bay leaves (I love bay leaves, so I like to add more)
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed, near the end
1/2 cup water Optional: use chicken broth, or wine
Optional: 1 can crushed tomatoes or tomato paste for a thicker broth
Optional: 3-4 potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
Optional: Thicken broth with 1-2 tablespoons of flour or starch. I usually dissolve the starch in a small amount of broth, and then add it to the dish and simmer until thickened.
Optional: If you REALLY want to be fancy, brown the starch or flour in fat, and then gradually add the liquid and stir or whisk until desired thickness. This takes a bit of time and skill, so I don’t recommend it if you are time challenged. It is something I do only for special occasions and for the right audience. My family does not like thicken sauce, and I find that it makes the leftovers “gloppy.”
Place carrots, onions, and celery in the bottom of the pot. If you have the time, you could saute the vegetables until browned, however, I did not. Add the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with pepper, garlic powder, and if using, paprika or other desired spices. Then add the liquid, and, the (optional) tomato puree or paste.
I place the chicken on top of the vegetables so that the stock almost steams or roasts the chicken.
The secret is to cook the chicken with only a minimal amount of liquid or stock. And, only add a minimal amount of salt after it is cooked. Too much salt, or liquid, and the taste is altered. I also only add crushed fresh garlic at the end. In general, less is more with this chicken recipe. The beauty is in its simplicity.
Stove top: bring to boil and let simmer until done. Add crushed garlic, salt and adjust seasonings to taste.
Crockpot. Cook on low until done. Add crushed garlic, salt and adjust seasonings to taste.
In pressure cooker: 7 minutes to pressure and then use the quick release method by running cold water over the lid when done. Add crushed garlic, salt and adjust seasonings to taste.
This week, I made it in the crockpot overnight. I adjusted the seasonings when I got up this morning before going to work. I forgot to take a picture of it in the crockpot. So, I only have pictures when I made it on the stove top.
Here are the pictures:
Everyone was soooooo happy! Raizel said, “I am obsessed with this chicken. It is scary good!” My husband said, “This chicken is killer!” It is one of the few times that there were actually no leftovers.
It is fast, easy, all natural and simple — cooking for the time challenged at its best.