There are dozens of ways to cook chicken, but one of our favorite methods might be the simple-yet-mighty braise. From the French brazier, it’s a cooking technique in which meat is seared and then simmered slowly in a broth or sauce. From tinga tacos, in which chicken is stewed in a smoky chipotle and tomato-based sauce to coq au vin, which uses the whole bird for maximum flavor, this low and slow method is favored around the world—and for good reason. Not only does it produce fork-tender meat, but it’s also relatively hands-off and easy to master. Plus, ingredients for braising are easily found in the pantry. Wine, vinegar, canned tomatoes, broth, and even dried beans can all be building blocks to an amazing braise. Just pull out your favorite pot, sear the chicken to attain that crackly, potato chip-like chicken skin, add just enough liquid, and let your stove or oven do the rest. To speed up the process, you can also use a pressure cooker (or Instant Pot), which can cut the cooking time in half.
Stewed in tomatillos, tomatoes, and chipotle chilies, this chicken tinga is flavorful and versatile. Once it’s cooked, spoon the shredded chicken on top of a bed of nachos, inside an enchilada or burrito, or next to a pile of freshly warmed tortillas.
Most braised meats lose their crisp exterior, but in this unique recipe, chicken thighs are seared, simmered atop a bed of bacon and cabbage, and then roasted with their skin exposed, which results in tender meat and crackly chicken skin. It all comes together in one pan in just over an hour.
Toss dried beans, chipotle chilies, chorizo, and drumsticks (or thighs) into Dutch oven for a quick and flavorful mostly hands-off braise. Even more hands off? This Black Bean Soup With Chorizo and Braised Chicken Recipe »
Tackling coq au vin doesn’t necessarily mean braising a tough, older bird all day. In this recipe, the chicken breasts are added toward the end of the braising process to ensure they don’t dry out. But don’t worry, this late addition will still absorb all the benefits of the red wine, mushroom, lardon, and onion broth.
Instead of relegating beans to a side dish, this quintessential Southern French dish puts beans front and center. Chicken fills in for the traditional duck, and garlic sausage and salt pork add even more flavor.
Use up that open can of chipotle adobo in your fridge for spicy, 20-minute chicken tacos. To balance the burn, add a dollop of corn and feta cheese salad (yes, we said feta) and slices of avocado.
This classic Taiwanese recipe draws on a simple base of ingredients for its dark broth—soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil—punched up with a handful of garlic cloves and ginger slices.
Sure, this recipe may not be the same as nonna’s, but what we love about cacciatore is how flexible it can be. Swapping duck for chicken drumsticks, this rustic stew keeps it simple with a tomato-based broth that’s spiked with white wine.
Fragrant and pungent, Filipino adobo needs to be in your weekly rotation. Bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks find flavor in a marinade of equal parts soy sauce and vinegar, plus garlic, whole black peppercorns, and a few springs of bay. Planning out meals for the rest of the week? Let this marinade work its magic over night; it only gets better with time.
Any combination of caramelized onions, tangy sour cream, and high-quality Hungarian sweet paprika makes for a solid chicken paprikash. But with little sear on the chicken plus an added hit of fish sauce and lemon juice for brightness, this Hungarian classic gets a well-deserved boost.
Chili aficionados know that there is much more to peppers than blinding heat. The ají amarillo, for example. Popular in Peru, this bright orange pepper tastes both fruity and floral. Curious about the heat but don’t want to get burned? A generous pour of coconut milk tempers the heat with a tropical finish.
In this version of pollo allo scarpariello—"shoemaker's chicken"—skin-on chicken thighs are seared and then simmered in a sauce enriched with sausage and brightened with pickled cherry peppers. Adding some of the pickling liquid from the jar of peppers gives the sauce a nice balance of sweet and sour.
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