I love comfort food, but I also love some big, bold flavors, and this recipe for Braised Chicken Thighs with Marinated Artichokes and Blackened Carrots is right up that alley. Both of these beautiful dishes are from Food & Wine, and I whipped it up for my friend April and I for a weeknight catch-up. We were in heaven!
The chicken was absolutely divine — you brown and crisp up the skin in a skillet and then braise the thighs in the oven for an hour, so they are super juicy and fall right off the bone. I especially love braising olives and artichokes — it makes them so tender and sweet, and they absorb up the great flavor from the artichoke brine, garlic, sherry, lemon and fish sauce. It’s an amazing combo of acid, umami, salty and rich from the olive oil in the brine.
Look how beautiful that is!
And the carrots! These were amazing — and it’s a must to make them with super fresh farmers market carrots, preferably smaller ones so they cook through faster. These are coated in an awesome spice mix including paprika, cayenne, garlic and oregano and topped with a vinaigrette of balsamic and honey. Wow, so much flavor happening and you get such a great sweetness from roasting them through in the oven. I could eat these as a meal on their own!
- When you eat the chicken, make up a bite that has a little bit of everything happening — chicken, olive, artichoke and lemon. Yes, lemon. Cut the entire slices, rind and all, into pieces and eat them — it’s such an awesome hint of bitterness alongside the other flavors. If you love tart, you will loooove this.
- When the chicken is done, squeeze the garlic cloves out of the head of garlic and smash them up a bit in the sauce so you get that flavor all mixed in too.
- I could have gone even heavier on artichokes in this one — don’t be afraid to add more.
- I served this straight up, but you could definitely put it over rice to soak up some of the yummy sauce.
- The carrots are blackened, so you may stir up quite a bit of smoke in the cooking of these — I sure did. And with all the spices, I was sneezing like crazy! Fair warning: open a window, turn on the hood and get the air moving around in the kitchen for these puppies — it’s worth it.
- Don’t bother cutting of the ends of the carrots, just wash them well.
Braised Chicken Thighs with Marinated Artichokes
- 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (3 3/4 pounds)
- Sea salt and pepper (see Note)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 15 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, plus 1/4 cup brine from the jar
- 1 cup Castelvetrano olives
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 6 thyme sprigs
- 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1/2 cup semidry sherry, such as amontillado
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
Preheat the oven to 375°. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. In a large cast-iron skillet or black steel pan, heat the oil. Add half of the chicken skin side down and top the pieces (not the pan) with a pot lid; cook over moderate heat until browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer skin side up to a large baking dish. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Scatter the artichoke hearts, olives, garlic, lemon slices and thyme in the baking dish.
Pour off the fat from the skillet. Add the artichoke brine, stock, sherry and fish sauce; bring to a boil. Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt, then pour the mixture around the chicken. Cover tightly with foil and braise in the oven for 1 hour, until the chicken is very tender.
Uncover and increase the oven temperature to 400°. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes longer, until the skin is crisp.
Discard the thyme. Transfer to plates and serve.
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/4 pounds medium carrots, halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a small bowl, whisk the paprika with the oregano, cayenne and garlic powder. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 2 minutes, until the spices are fragrant.
Put the butter in a shallow bowl. Dip the cut side of each carrot in the butter and then coat in the spice mixture, pressing to help the spices adhere; transfer to a plate.
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Working in batches if necessary, add the carrots cut side down in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat until blackened on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until the carrots are just tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and honey. Whisk in the olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer the carrots to a platter and drizzle with the vinaigrette.