I hate to say it, but…WINTER IS COMING.
All the sure signs have arrived. Leaves falling, temperatures dropping, the sky turning pitch black before 5:oopm…
BUT the absolute giveaway? When our apartment’s beloved rooftop grills are placed into storage for the long winter season. It’s a sad and abrupt sign that it’s time to move those rooftop parties inside and create oven friendly recipes that are still grill worthy in my book.
That’s where my red wine braised chicken comes into play.
Anything that has been braising in a delicious broth or wine based sauce is automatically going to be delicious. That’s just a fact. But this recipe is so much more than a red wine and chicken broth reduction. The browned caramelized onion, thick bacon and crispy chicken thighs create a deliciously balanced dish, but the real star here is the unique addition of the red grapes. They add a hint of sweetness and, when cooked down, create a wonderful texture.
For this recipe, I used chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are a natural for braising because they stay nice and juicy. They are more flavorful and succulent than chicken breasts and they don’t dry out when reheating. Cooking the thighs skin side down first gets them browned and as crisp as possible before placing in the oven to braise. This braised chicken dish is so tender and flavorful it may even make you forget about winter just for a little while.
- 4-5 chicken thighs with skin on
- ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ¾ cup dry red wine
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 2 cups red seedless grapes
- 3 slices bacon
- ½ onion, chopped and cooked down with 1 tablespoon butter
- fresh rosemary for garnish
- To caramelize the onions, heat the butter in a heavy ovenproof skillet. Add the onions cook for 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. When the onions are a deep golden color, remove from the pan and set aside. Using the same pan, cook the slices of bacon over medium high heat. When cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
- To make the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, salt, chili powder, thyme and black pepper. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
- In the same pan as the onions and bacon, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add each piece of chicken skin-side down and fry for a few minutes until golden brown; flip and cook for a few more minutes. Transfer to a plate until all pieces are browned.
- Turn the heat down and let the oil cool off a little bit. Carefully add the wine, it will bubble. Add the broth and simmer until the mixture is thickened slightly. Add the onions, grapes and chicken to the pan (skin side up) and bake for 30 minutes. Top with fresh rosemary if desired.