Just a super simple chicken braise with all of the key elements. A little shallot, some wine, some herbs. If you've never braised chicken thighs before, this is a great place to start.
What you will need
4 chicken legs
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 ½ cup chicken stock
1 bunch thyme
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp unsalted butter
How to cook
Remove the tip. Slice in half. Remove the peel. And slice into little rainbows.
Remove the stem tip. Line them up. Run the knife through the mushroom grid in opposite directions to quarter.
The chicken thighs I got had a lot of extra skin and fat, so I laid them out and tried to remove some of the extra hangy bits.
Before cooking the chicken thighs, hit them on both sides with some salt and pepper.
Start the the chicken thighs, skin-side down, in a hot skillet with a little olive oil over medium heat.
The trick to a crispy chicken skin is patience. You want to find a nice, balanced temperature in your pan, where it's not smoking too much, but sizzles when the chicken goes in. Leave it alone for a good 5 minutes.
When the skin is browned and crispy, flip the chicken and brown the opposite side.
Once browned on both sides, transfer the chicken thighs to a holding container so you can start building the braise.
Dump the shallot into the pan. Stir it up a bit to break up the shallot and remove some of the fond from the pan. The fond is that brown stuff. It's full of flavor.
Dump in the mushrooms and stir it up. The liquid from the mushrooms should help loosen what's left of that fond.
Once the mushrooms have tenderized a bit, stir in the tomato paste.
Stir in the white wine. Make sure and scrape the pan a little. This should definitely clear the rest of any of that chicken flavor that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the chicken broth. Make sure that the tomato paste is broken up and distributed evenly. Bring to a gentle simmer.
Return the chicken thighs to the pan.
Place the thyme and bay leaf over the top. Cover the pan and simmer gently for about 1 hour.
The chicken is done cooking. Place it in a nice serving dish while you finish the sauce.
You should be able to find the thyme sprigs and the bay leaf relatively easily. Fish them out with a pair of tongs and discard.
Reduce the braise for a few minutes on high heat, and then stir in the chopped parsley.
Stir in the butter, just to give the sauce a little more body. No problem at all if you wanna skip the butter here. Taste the sauce. Add a little salt or pepper of you think it needs it.
Pour the braise over the chicken thighs and serve. I actually prefer this dish when it's had a day or two to sit in the sauce. A lot of braises and stews share this quality where the flavors mix and spread over time for a more complex flavor.