Friday, September 14, 2012

Braised Chicken Thighs with Saffron, Green Olives and Mint

I am attracted to family style meals that you can platter up, and serve up with little to no fuss.

In this family meal, the chicken thighs are browned and then braised for almost an hour in its own juices, with a little help from chicken broth, spices, carrots and olives.  Chopped fresh mint is stirred in at the very end for a very subtle extra kick of flavor. The chicken thighs were served over large pappardelle noodles, and served family style.

I avoided going to the store for extra-ingredients.  I made do with what I had in my pantry. The recipe called for red onion, I used white onion and no saffron. I had a mix of green and black olives, rather than only green olives.  Still? The recipe rocked-Enjoy.

 The original recipe without adaption is below.

Braised Chicken Thighs
Serves 6 
Recipe from Mario Batali

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
All-purpose flour, for dredging
12 bone-in chicken thighs with skin (about 2-1/2 lbs.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large red onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
Small pinch of saffron
1 cup small pitted green olives (about 4-ounces)
1 medium carrot, finely diced
3 cups chicken stock or low sodium broth
1/2 cup lightly packed mint leaves, chopped

1.  In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering.  Spread some flour in a shallow bowl.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour.  Add half of the thighs to the casserole, skin side down.  Cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a platter.  Repeat with remaining chicken.

2.  Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the casserole.  Add the onions and saffron and cook over moderately high-heat, turning once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a platter.  Repeat with remaining chicken.

3,  Uncover the casserole and simmer over moderately low heat until the sauce is reduced slightly, about 15 minutes longer.  Arrange the chicken thighs on a platter.  Season the sauce with salt and pepper and stir in the mint.  Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.



Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Love this and you know I'm fond of easy. We're eating more and more chicken thighs. Another great way to use them.

Have a lovely weekend Velva.

From the Kitchen said...

Sometimes the best dishes come from recipe improvisation!


Anonymous said...

this is a nice way of doing chicken thighs. They are my favourite part of the chicken. Bookmarking!
PS: I have moved to pls come and join me there X

The Japanese Redneck said...

My pantry usually doesn't contain red onion or saffron either.

Looks very good.

Happy weekend.

We Are Not Martha said...

How beautiful is this?? And it sounds SO delicious.


rosaria williams said...

I might drop the saffron; but the rest is most appealing and mouth watering.

Nammi said...


Southerncook said...

Sounds delicious, Velva. I'll give it a try.

Carolyn/ A Southerners Notebook

teresa said...

what a great way to enjoy chicken thighs! this looks wonderful.

That Girl said...

That pappardelle is perfect for scooping up the leftover juices too!

Anonymous said...

The saffron sounds amazing in this.

Sandi said...

That looks absolutely wonderful Velva!!! real home cooking.

tasteofbeirut said...

Love recipes that feature saffron; I get so excited when I find some here in Beirut. In the US, I get it at a Persian store, imported from Iran. This dish looks and sounds just what I'd like to make!

Just Cake Girl said...

That look yummy :)

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I always choose chicken thighs over breasts. I love how moist and tasty they are. Great recipe.

Rebecca Subbiah said...

wow what a neat and creative recipe :-) and love chicken thighs so much more moist

rita cooks italian said...

This looks tastry! I sounds like it worked well even without the extra ingredients!

Angie's Recipes said...

This looks homey and irresistible!

Michelle said...

This looks delicious. Chicken thighs are not something I cook with often, but need to more.

Lori said...

True comfort food! I love the interesting combo of olives and mint. That's something I definitely need to try.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

This is my favorite kind of fall comfort food. Chicken thighs are my favorite because they are so moist and juicy. Yummy recipe, Velva.

Kitchen Belleicious said...

Oh the saffron just makes this dish! Love braising thighs- turns out the best flavor in them. I must try mint and olives together next time I do chicken or maybe even pork? Do you think these flavors would go with pork?

Chris said...

I like the briny bite that the olives bring to this.

Salsa Verde said...

Amazing array of ingredients and fantastic combination of flavours!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

My husband and I usually fight over the chicken thighs when I make chicken ;) I love that the skinless and boneless thighs are readily available these days too. This sounds delicious, Velva! What a wonderful combination of flavors.

Lori Lynn said...

Easy's good. Saffron's great!

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