Last night w and I had our friend Kathleen over for dinner, and the meal was so good, and so easy to pull together that I just had to share the recipe. No photo op as I didn't even think about it, but this super chicken dish really rocked, especially served alongside bowl of creamy polenta and a crisp green salad with a mustard-balsamic vinaigrette.
I served a bottle of 2003 Chateau d'Oupia Minervois "Les Barons" with it because I had one at home that was calling my name. It was lusciously good in it's spicy blackberryness, but if you wanted to do white I could also see going in the direction of a great Sancerre from France or an Austrian Gruner-Veltliner. Or if you were fortunate enough to have a spare bottle of 2005 J. Christopher Sauvignon Blanc rolling around in the cellar, you could do a lot worse.
Zesty Braised Chicken with Lemon and Capers
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
8 bone-in chicken thighs with skin (6 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
All-purpose flour, for dusting
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 large peeled garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups Sauvignon Blanc
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
Six 1-inch strips of lemon zest
6 thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 bay leaf
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust with flour. In a large ovenproof skillet, melt the butter in the oil. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned, 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
2. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook over low heat until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the wine and boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, lemon zest, thyme, capers and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up. Transfer the skillet to the oven and braise for about 45 minutes, until the meat is tender.
3. Return the skillet to the stove and boil until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5-8 minutes. Discard the thyme, bay leaf and lemon zest, if desired, before serving.