Thursday, January 28, 2021

Braised Chicken Breasts with Bell Peppers, Onions & Vinegar

Chicken breasts, bell peppers, and onions braised in a heavenly sauce made with broth and vinegar.  
It's just good classic comfort food.

You just say the word braise and I picture comfort food.  Pot roasts, pork chops, and short ribs all come to mind when I want to braise.  Today we are going to prepare a "one-pot" braised chicken dish that's done on the stove-top which makes this weeknight friendly

What I love most about braising is that it’s so versatile.  In fact, once you’ve mastered the technique, you will never need to use a recipe again. Brown the meat, saute some vegetables, deglaze the pan, and simmer — that really is all you need to know!

Here, seared chicken breasts, 3 colors of bell peppers, and onions are simmered in a heavenly sauce made from chicken broth and white wine vinegar.  The sauce is TO DIE FOR!!!

What Ingredients do I need?

  • olive oil
  • chicken breasts
  • onion
  • garlic
  • thyme
  • paprika
  • red pepper flakes
  • bell pepper
  • white wine vinegar
  • low sodium chicken broth
  • parsley

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use chicken thighs, bone in or boneless
  • Use chicken breasts, bone in
  • Use any chicken pieces you like, legs, wings, or a mixture
  • You could also use this combination with boneless pork chops.
  • Substitute red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar for the white wine vinegar
  • Use parsley instead of chives
  • Use marjoram instead of thyme
  • Use red onion or shallots for the yellow onion
  • Don't like bell pepper, how about mushrooms, green beans, or zucchini?
  • If you want a crispier chicken dredge the pieces in flour before searing.

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Once the chicken braises, the last step is to reduce, reduce, reduce. (the sauce) This final step really concentrates the flavors of the sauce, making it perfect for drizzling over the chicken and dousing over rice. 
  • Use a low-sodium chicken broth to control the salt content
  • Make sure to add the vinegar, it really give the sauce it's flavor punch.
  • Prep all your vegetables and ingredients beforehand to make the dish go quicker.
  • Serve this over rice, mashed potatoes, or pasta.
  • It will stand equally on it's own with a side salad and some crusty bread to sop up that wonderful sauce.

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Braised Chicken Breasts with Bell Peppers, Onions & Vinegar 

Serves: 4 • Braising Time: about 30 minutes

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1 small yellow onion, halved and sliced about ¼" thick 
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
3 bell peppers -  mixed colors, cored and seeded and cut into strips 
¼ cup white wine vinegar 
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 

Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.  Heat a braising pan or high sided skillet with the olive oil over medium high heat.  When hot add the chicken and sear on both sides until browned, about 5-7 minutes.   Transfer the chicken to a large plate.  

Lower the heat to medium and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, paprika and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook 30 seconds.  Add the peppers, stirring to mix, and let cook for just a minute or so. 

Add the vinegar, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping the bottom of the pan to bring up any of the browned bits, deglazing the pan.  Let simmer until much of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.   Return the chicken to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and braise gently for about 30 minutes, turning the chicken over after 15 minutes.  Cook until there are no signs of pink remaining and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.  

Transfer the chicken to a serving dish.  Increase the heat under the pan to medium-high and boil to reduce the cooking liquid and to concentrate its flavor, about 3 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary. Return the chicken to the pan.   Sprinkle the parsley over the dish and serve hot.

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