We’re craving porcini braised chicken thighs, thanks to James Beard Award–winning chef Naomi Pomeroy’s fantastic new cookbook. Taste & Technique is a collection of Pomeroy’s favorite recipes and the step-by-step skills you’ll need to pull them off expertly at home. Dig into this informative book and up your dinner party game with dishes like these!
This is a rustic one-pot meal to serve directly out of the Dutch oven in which it is cooked. Porcini mushrooms have an earthy, savory quality that combines with the stock, wine and concentrated meat flavor from the thighs to create a lovely richness. The contrast of crisp skin against tender braised meat and soft vegetables is fantastic as well.
I recommend using this recipe to learn how to braise. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, it’s possible to sear the chicken in a large sauté pan, transfer it to a roasting pan to finish cooking in the oven, and serve it in a pretty casserole dish.
This simple meal is all about balance, and people are always impressed by how delicious it is. I don’t always save the vegetables from a braise because they often wind up limp and soggy, but these are very much worth eating.
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups peeled carrots, sliced on the bias in 3-inch pieces
- 3 cups roughly chopped yellow onion, in 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped celery, in 2-inch pieces
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 10 cloves garlic
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 2 fresh or 4 dried bay leaves
- 12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, at room temperature
- 2 to 3 tablespoons salt
- 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups homemade stock or other high-quality stock
- 1 cup dry wine
For the chicken
In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion, and celery and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables get some color. Add the porcini, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves and mix to combine. Turn off the heat but leave the Dutch oven on the burner.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Season each chicken thigh with 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 teaspoon salt (depending on its size; a large thigh will weigh about 10 ounces and a small one about 6 ounces) and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper.
Heat a black steel pan over high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat until the surface is rippling but not smoking. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, add 4 chicken thighs, skin side down, and lower the heat slightly, to medium-high. Weight down the thighs with a heavy plate to create an even sear across the entire surface and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until evenly golden but not too dark in any spots. Check after the first 1 to 2 minutes to ensure no black spots are forming and lower the heat as needed. Place the thighs, skin side up, in a single layer in the Dutch oven and repeat two more times with the remaining oil and chicken thighs, rinsing the pan and wiping it completely dry after each batch.
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock and wine to a simmer. Pour the stock mixture into the Dutch oven; the edges of the chicken should be submerged, but the skin should be exposed. It’s important not to cover the chicken skin completely or it won’t get crisp.
Cover with a tight-fitting lid (or with aluminum foil if using a roasting pan), place in the oven, and cook for 1 1⁄4 hours, or until the chicken is completely tender. Turn up the oven temperature to 400°F, remove the cover, and continue to cook until the chicken skin is crisp, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, discard the thyme sprigs as best you can, and serve directly from the pot.