Braised chicken thighs make for a deliciously rustic meal, one filled with rich flavor and lots of aroma. My braised chicken thighs recipe features chicken with a crispy skin, gently cooked in a savory sauce, brimming with tomatoes, garlic, briny olives, a touch of white wine and herbs, perfect to serve when you're craving a bit of extra coziness and warmth!
Chicken Thighs, Braised To Flavorful Perfection
There are certain types of dishes which I prepare, certain types of recipes, that really excite me without fail.
Typically, these dishes are rustic, often with a rich sauce simmered with a generous array of aromatic and wonderfully earthy ingredients such as onions, garlic, herbs, olive oil, tomatoes, wine, olives...those ingredients which bring lots of flavor to a dish.
My braised chicken thighs recipe is just this kind of comforting dish, a sort of “peasant-style" dish that one might prepare from the bounty of one's own garden, using home-grown tomatoes, onions and herbs. (I'll admit that I'm a romantic!)
And even if one doesn't have a garden to gather from, the ingredients used for these rustic braised chicken thighs are often found in one's own pantry, making this recipe a simple option to prepare any night of the week when a bit of extra TLC and comfort is craved.
My Braised Chicken Thighs Recipe
Braising is perhaps one of my favorite methods of cooking, because it is notoriously low and slow.
I love the rhythm of those initial simple steps that a good braise requires, the searing of the chicken to make the skin nice and crispy, the sauteeing of aromatics, and the simplicity of the steps that follow, which require virtually no work.
When it comes to preparing braised chicken thighs (or any other braise), it is essential to have a proper braising pan, one that is heavy and that conducts heat well.
A cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottom enameled pan is best to use, as one can brown and sear chicken quite beautifully in such a pan—it also conducts the heat well as the dish braises in the oven.
And besides quality ingredients, one really only needs a bit of patience and a sprinkle of love to create a finished dish in which the care and love can be tasted!
Here's a glance at my braised chicken thighs recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I add a bit of oil to the braising pan, and allow it to become very hot.
- Once the pan is smoking hot, I add the chicken in, skin side down, and allow it to crisp and become golden for a few minutes, then flip the pieces over and allow them to sear on the bone-side. When done, I remove the chicken from the pan.
- Next, I add the onions and garlic to the pan, followed by the spices, and then the wine, stock, and tomatoes to create that wonderful sauce for the braise.
- Then, the briny olives are added in, followed by the seared chicken thighs, which are nestled into the sauce.
- Next, I bring it all to a gentle simmer stove top, then place it into the oven to finish gently cooking to succulent perfection, about 45 to 50 minutes.
Braised Chicken Thighs
by Ingrid Beer
These braised chicken thighs with tomatoes and olives are a rich, saucy and rustic dish, kissed with white wine and aromatic herbs!
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 486 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 6 chicken thighs, skin on and bone-in
- Olive oil (about 6 tablespoons, divided use)
- Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 2 onions, quartered and sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup white wine (optional)
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes (juices reserved), roughly chopped
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata or green olives, or combo of both
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or flat-leaf parsley
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- Add your chicken thighs to a plate or bowl, and pat them dry with paper towel. Drizzle over about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, plus a couple of pinches or salt and pepper, the paprika, and the granulated onion.
- Place your cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the pan is very hot, add the thighs in, skin-side down, and allow them to sear for about 6 to 7 minutes on that side, until a deep, golden-brown. Then, flip and sear for another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove chicken thighs from braising pan, and set aside for a moment.
- To that same pan add the sliced onions, and allow them to saute and become golden-brown. Next, stir in the garlic and the Italian seasoning, and once aromatic, add in the tomato paste and cook for about 30 seconds to cook out the raw flavor.
- Add in the wine and allow it reduce completely. Then, add in the chicken stock, the chopped tomatoes and their juices, plus the olives, and stir to combine.
- Nestle the chicken thighs back into the sauce, skin side up, and place into the oven, uncovered, to braise for 45 to 50 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is extra crispy and a deep brown.
- Finish with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves or parsley, and serve with an accompaniment such as pappardelle pasta, couscous, quinoa, or mashed potatoes to soak up the sauce.
Tips & Tidbits for Braised Chicken Thighs recipe:
- Give your chicken thighs a pat down: Keep the chicken thighs as dry as possible so that when you place them into your hot pan, they will become nicely browned and crisp.
- Use a large, deep, heavy-bottom pan for braising: This is a job for your cast-iron pan, or other heavy-bottom, oven-safe pan. You need to be able to get the pan nice and hot, so you can sear the skin on the thighs to a perfect crisp, then transfer that same pan to the oven for the braise.
- Leave out the wine, if desired: There's a small amount of white wine in the recipe, but feel free to leave it out, if you prefer. You can substitute a bit more chicken stock instead, or perhaps even add a teeny squeeze of lemon for brightness.
- What to serve with braised chicken thighs: I love to serve this dish with pappardelle pasta, but couscous, quinoa, rice, or my garlic mashed potatoes are terrific—even just some rustic bread on the side to sop up the sauce is really nice.
Hungry for more delectably cozy braised recipes? Check out this Braised Pork Shoulder, this Braised Beef with Mixed Mushrooms, Braised Short Ribs on Garlic Crostini, this Chicken with Mushroom Sauce, this Moroccan Chicken, or this Harissa Chicken!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2018, and has been updated with even more love!