Braised Winter Chicken with Rice

Last weekend we went to Athens to see one of Drew’s younger brothers, Jake, open for a band at the Caledonia Lounge. We’ve loved getting to watch him develop his singing and songwriting skills over the past few years. Check out his song Young Enough – it’s my favorite!

Also, I’ve gotten a little sick of photographing so many things in bowls over the past few days. I even planned out all my recipes for the next month (inspired by Lindsey at Pinch of Yum) but I still made three bowl-dwelling recipes in a row. Oh well, live and learn.

I think this Braised Winter Chicken with Rice is a very easy and flavorful meal. You could use chicken breasts instead of thighs if you really wanted to, but I love how the chicken thighs don’t dry out nearly as easily and add tons and tons of flavor. Also, they typically are cheaper per pound than chicken breasts, so why not give them a go? I consider this a “wintry” meal because it contains a secret seasonal ingredient . . . an orange! I promise that the final product doesn’t taste overwhelmingly orange-y; it just adds another dimension of flavor.

Braised Winter Chicken with Rice Braised Winter Chicken with Rice

Braised Winter Chicken with Rice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Braised Winter Chicken and Rice is a hearty winter meal, made extra tasty with a secret ingredient - orange zest and juice!
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • • 1 medium onion, diced
  • • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • • juice of one orange
  • • zest of one orange
  • • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes with juices
  • • rice or barley for serving (I used a blend of brown and black rice)
Instructions
  1. Heat a pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrots, celery, dried thyme, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables start to soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken and cook until the bottom of the pan has turned a dark brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add the garlic, orange juice, and tomatoes with their juices and bring to a simmer, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer the stew until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Use tongs to transfer the chicken thighs to a large plate and let cool slightly. Cut or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Return the chicken to the pan and stir in the orange zest.
  4. Scoop cooked rice or barley into bowls and top with the braised chicken.

 

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