Braised Lemon Chicken Thighs & Brussels Sprouts

10 | November 5, 2013

braised lemon thyme chicken thighs

Oh dear sweet mother of it all how I love a good chicken thigh! It’s seriously is most tender and flavorful part of the chicken and when you put it in for a long braise — watch out because you’ll have one of the most delicious SIMPLE dinners on the table.

The other night I was in need for a simple meal but craving comfort! It was a long day full of deadlines, photo/recipe editing, and conference calls with clients that left me banging my head against the wall. Then my daughter walks in announcing that at five-years-old she’s in love with a boy at school. Well, you can imagine my face as all of the blood drained out of it. I wanted to laugh. I wanted to cry. I wanted to lock her in her room and hope she would stay the same curly-headed little girl forever. Instead I threw on my apron, grabbed her, a glass of wine, and started to cook — because in my world all things are resolved in the kitchen. As the amazing smells of garlic and shallots tinged the air and the wine relaxed my nerves, I listened to Mia tell me all about the hilarious Jack with the most beautiful brown hair ever and the stress of the day instantly lifted.

A cinch to throw together, this meal of lemony fall-off-the-bone chicken thighs and brussels sprouts is worth the hour wait for it to braise to perfection in the oven. Be prepared for the sprouts to be on the soft side. If that is not your “thing,” by all means leave the sprouts out or saute on the stove. In this case, this working mom needed a little simplification to her night. Cheers!

Braised Lemon-Thyme Chicken Thighs serves 4 

  • 8 chicken thighs (figure on 2 per serving)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups quality or homemade chicken stock
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme

serving suggestion: serve over Israeli couscous (pictured), pasta, quinoa, or rice

seared chicken

Preheat oven to 350°F. Evenly sprinkle salt and pepper over thighs. In a large braising pot with a lid, heat oil on high heat. Place 4 chicken thighs skin down in the pot and sear until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and sear on the other side until browned. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining thighs.

oven

Reduce heat to medium. After allowing the oil to cool slightly, about a 2 minutes, add the garlic, shallots, and Brussels sprouts. Cook for 3 minutes until the Brussels sprouts are bright green. Add lemon juice and chicken stock. Return the thighs to the pot with the sprouts and add lemon slices and thyme. Cover, transfer to the oven, and braise for 1 hour. Plate chicken thighs and Brussels sprouts and serve with a drizzle of the “au jus” – the lemony braising liquid that remains. *Optional* To enhance the flavor and to make a “sauce” with the remaining braising juices, remove the thighs and Brussels sprouts and strain the cooking liquid. Return the “jus” to the braising pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until reduce by half until thickened slightly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and stir to combine. Spoon over chicken thighs.

braised lemon thyme chicken thighs

Bright and comforting, this was the perfect meal to end a busy day.

Braised Lemon Chicken Thighs & Brussels Sprouts

Braised Lemon Chicken Thighs & Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken thighs (figure on 2 per serving)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups quality or homemade chicken stock
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Evenly sprinkle salt and pepper over thighs. In a large braising pot with a lid, heat oil on high heat. Place 4 chicken thighs skin down in the pot and sear until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and sear on the other side until browned. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining thighs.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. After allowing the oil to cool slightly, about a 2 minutes, add the garlic, shallots, and Brussels sprouts. Cook for 3 minutes until the Brussels sprouts are bright green. Add lemon juice and chicken stock. Return the thighs to the pot with the sprouts and add lemon slices and thyme. Cover, transfer to the oven, and braise for 1 hour.
  3. Plate chicken thighs and Brussels sprouts and serve with a drizzle of the "au jus" - the lemony braising liquid that remains. Optional To enhance the flavor and to make a "sauce" with the remaining braising juices, remove the thighs and Brussels sprouts and strain the cooking liquid. Return the "jus" to the braising pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until reduce by half until thickened slightly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and stir to combine. Spoon over chicken thighs.

Notes

serving suggestion: serve over Israeli couscous (pictured), pasta, quinoa, or rice

http://www.insockmonkeyslippers.com/braised-lemon-chicken-thighs-brussels-sprouts

    Comments

  • Paula - bell'alimento


    Hubba Hubba …

  • Susan


    Made the chicken portion of this recipe with what I had (no chicken stock) but it turned out so moist and flavorful…plus it is really easy.
    Thanks for making our dinner so good on a cold Tuesday night.

  • Larry


    Discovered your recipe and the only addition was to add some yukon gold potatoes (chopped about 1″ pieces) with the brussels sprouts and perched the chicken on top – the juices/fat from the chicken soaked into the potatoes and sprouts and it was just amazing.

  • Amrita


    Three things.

    I love a good thigh too and I just don’t get why people always go for the breasts. Why.
    In my world, all things are resolved in the kitchen also…I’m starting to really really like you now.
    And yes, thank you for mentioning it – I’m planning to leave out the brussel sprouts.

    Love your blog.

  • Joy


    Hi Meredith,

    Thanks for a great recipe. Any suggestions on how to keep the skin crispy? It may be that my dutch oven is really deep so when I braised it, the skin became soft. It still tasted great, though.

    • In Sock Monkey Slippers


      Hi Joy! Good question. It’s really hard to achieve a crispy skin in a Dutch oven. That’s because there is not enough room for the heat to circulate around the chicken. When I braise chicken I keep the skin on for flavor and moisture but remove it when eating because honestly, I’m just there for the meat. ;) I would try using a braising pot that has low sides and leave the lid off or use a cast iron. Thanks for asking. Cheers!

      • Larry


        Or, what I do for crisp skin – make the recipe as per usual, then when chicken is cooked, transfer to a. Rimmed, foil-lined baking sheet (on a rack if you have) and throw under a hot broiler of a few mins. Watch so it doesn’t burn, but like magic, the amazing flavor of this recipe and crisp skin!

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