Braised Chicken Thighs with Almonds, Honey, & EVOO

Braised Chicken Thighs with Almonds, Honey, & EVOO


Recipe by Sandy Sonnenfelt
Food styling & photography by Asha Loupy

time: 2 hours yield: SERVES 4-6 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs, approximately 2 1/2 pounds
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Las Hermanas Pimentón de La Vera DOP (Picante)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Peppercorns, divided
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons mild COOC-certified EVOO
  • One large white onion, finely diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish Saffron, slightly crushed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup mild honey
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnishing

DIRECTIONS

  1. For the chicken, mix the ground coriander, picante, ground ginger and 2 teaspoons of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper in a small bowl. Place the chicken thighs on a rimmed sheet pan or in a baking dish and rub the chicken thighs with the spice mix on both sides. Cover, refrigerate and let the chicken marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight.
  2. Before braising the chicken, roast and prepare the almonds. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the blanched almonds in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 10–15 minutes. Cool. Place half of the almonds in a food processor and pulse until they are the texture of coarse sand. Transfer the ground almonds to a bowl, and set aside along with the whole roasted almonds.
  3. While the almonds are roasting and cooling, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature, about 15–20 minutes.
  4. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the EVOO over medium high heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4–6 minutes per side. Remove the chicken thighs, transfer them to a plate and set aside.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and sauté until they soften and begin to turn golden brown, about 6–8 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed saffron and continue to sauté for about 3–4 minutes.
  6. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan, scrapping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Allow the alcohol to cook off, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the chicken stock, lemon juice, honey, reserved ground almonds and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the browned chicken thighs back to the pot, nestling them into the sauce, skin side up. Cook uncovered until the chicken thighs are cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 25–30 minutes.
  9. If the sauce is too thin, remove the chicken thighs from the sauce, transfer them to a plate and cover to keep them warm. Increase the heat to medium and reduce the sauce until it thickens to desired consistency, about 5–7 minutes.
  10. To serve, stir the chopped cilantro into the sauce and then spoon the finished sauce into a serving dish. Top with the chicken thighs and finish with the reserved roasted whole almonds and more chopped cilantro, if desired.

All images and text Market Hall Foods (adapted by COOC).

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