This is one of those warm and comforting dishes that is just right for these chilly, fall months. Braised chicken and artichokes make the perfect pair for the occasion.
Crispy-skinned, bone-in chicken thighs have to be my favorite type of chicken. Match them up with a luscious sauce and some delicious accompaniments, and you have yourself an amazing dinner.
The inspiration for this braised chicken dish actually started with the artichokes. Of course, work had some influence too. I essentially combined the recipe for braised baby artichokes, which I was I taught, with my version of Coq au Vin Blanc.
There are a lot of great flavors and textures going on in this dish. Crispy chicken skin and juicy meat, earthy artichokes, sweet onions and briny olives. Oh and you can’t forget the polenta. I really love the sweet, creamy polenta paired with this dish. It’s so good mixed with the sauce. This braised chicken dish would also be great with a potato puree or even rice, so go with your favorite option. Whatever your preference, this dish is worth a try!
- 1 cup medium-ground yellow corn meal
- 2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken stock
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly grated
- 2 tbsp butter, sliced
- Kosher salt
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 3 tbsp, extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1-2 pinches hot red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed but intact
- 2lb baby artichokes, trimmed and cut in half
- ½ cup olives of choice, pitted and roughly chopped (I used cerignola)
- ½ cup dry, white wine
- 1 ½ cups (or as needed) homemade or low sodium chicken stock
- 2 tbsp butter, sliced
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- For polenta, heat stock and milk in a small pot to a rapid simmer. Whisk in polenta, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring every 8-10 minutes, for a total of 40-50 minutes or until tender and creamy. Add additional water (up to a cup or so), as needed, while cooking to maintain desired consistency. When the polenta is finished cooking, stir in the cheese and butter. Add salt to taste.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- While polenta is cooking, season chicken generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat an oven-safe, nonstick pan over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of oil, followed by the chicken, skin-side down. Slowly render chicken fat and brown skin, about 15-18 minutes. Reduce heat, as needed, to prevent burning.
- Flip and increase heat. Cook about 2-4 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
- Add onions to pan and, season with salt and red pepper flakes. Cook slowly so onions sweeten and caramelize without taking on much color. Cook a total of 20-30 minutes, lowering heat to medium-low after about 6-8 minutes.
- Add garlic and sauté during last minute of cooking. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add remaining two tablespoons of oil to the pan. Increase heat to medium to medium-high. Add artichokes, cut-side down. Season with salt. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side or until browned.
- Add back onions. Stir in olives. Add wine and reduce to about 2-3 tablespoons.
- Add ½ cup stock. Simmer about 8-12 minutes to par-cook the artichokes.
- Nestle chicken back into pan. Add 1 more cup of stock or enough to go ¾ way up the chicken, making sure not to wet the skin. Bring to a simmer.
- Transfer pan to the oven. Cook about 20-30 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Remove chicken from pan. Bring juices in the pan to a simmer. Reduce for about 5-10 minutes or until thickened. Swirl in butter to emulsify. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if needed.
- Serve chicken over the polenta with the artichokes and sauce. Enjoy.
- 1. To trim artichokes, set up a bowl with cold water and several lemons squeezed into it. Using a paring knife, pull off outer leaves until you reach the tender, inner leaves. Trim off the top ½ inch of artichoke. Peel off thin outer layer of bottom stem. Rub trimmed artichoke on the inside of a cut half of lemon. Transfer to lemon water. When all artichokes are trimmed, remove from water, pat dry and slice in half lengthwise.
- 2. Proportion wise, this is a veggie and polenta heavy dish. If you prefer more chicken, I suggest doubling the amount of chicken (8 thighs) and cutting back on the artichokes (1 1/2 lbs), onions (1/2) and polenta (2/3 cup) and adjusting the other ingredients, as needed.