Even though I love using my slow cooker, sometimes there’s a recipe that requires more than just letting food simmer at a snail’s pace for hours on end.
Like, when I need to sear and meld flavors, deglaze the pan and bring a sauce to a boil stove top—grabbing all those yummy bits at the bottom of the pan—and then cover everything to braise for a while.
Enter, the Dutch oven.
A Dutch oven’s equal parts saute pan, soup pot, oven-safe pan. It’s a universal cooking vessel that has a dozen or so uses around the kitchen, which I personally love—anytime I have a kitchen tool with more than one use, life is grand! (Alton Brown fans everywhere are fist pumping.)
I make Easy Oven Fried Chicken Thighs with Perfectly Crispy Skin at least twice a month because they’re my son’s favorite meal ever. This recipe’s also simple to throw together on a busy weeknight, and chicken thighs are a budget-friendly cut of poultry.
I stumbled across Melissa d’Arabian’s recipe for Chicken in Mustard last year, and I knew I had to forgo our usual oven-baked chicken thigh fare for something a little more special. A recipe that would allow me to make good use of a Saturday afternoon at home.
Her recipe uses chicken thighs without the skin, but I was sure that if I seared my skin-on thighs really well and got the skin SUPER crispy, it would hold up to braising without getting gummy. Because, no one likes gummy chicken skin. (EW.)
The layers of flavor in these braised Dijon chicken thighs are tremendous! I made a few substitutions based on what I had in my fridge and pantry (besides leaving the skin on the chicken thighs), but over all kept the integrity of her recipe.
And her Super Buttered Noodles? They’re a fantastic compliment, and I’ve used linguine instead of egg noodles if that’s what I have on hand—also delicious.
- 4 to 6 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 14.5-oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tomato, diced
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken dry and then season both sides with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 tablespoon fresh parsley. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken skin side down and let it sear for 4 minutes, then flip them and continue cooking for 4 minutes longer. If the skin isn't dark golden and crispy, turn it back over and cook for another minute or two. Remove the chicken to a plate covered with a paper towel and set it aside.
- Turn the head down to medium and add the onions to the Dutch oven, stirring occasionally until they're soft and translucent—about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 more minute. Pour in the tomatoes, add the remaining salt and pepper, and then sprinkle the flour on top, whisking to combine. Let it cook for 2 minutes so the flour taste goes away, then increase the heat to medium-high, pour in 1/2 cup of chicken stock to deglaze the pan, and continue whisking until the sauce thickens.
- Place the chicken into the sauce, skin side up. Pour the remaining chicken stock into the Dutch oven until it comes a little over half-way up the chicken - don't cover the chicken. Place the cover on, and throw it in the oven to cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and then continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
- Place the Dutch oven back onto the stove set to low. Remove the chicken and set it aside. Whisk in the mustard and the sour cream until the sauce is light and creamy. Add the chicken back in, skin side up, and let it simmer for 15 more minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley, and freshly diced tomatoes, and then serve it hot over mashed potatoes, rice, or Melissa d'Arabian's Super Buttered Noodles (found with her Chicken in Mustard recipe).
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