This is a great way to cook chicken legs and thighs for a simple and inexpensive weeknight dinner. Braising the chicken results in meat that is fall-off-the-bone tender and a flavorful sauce with zero extra effort. The braising liquid–in this case, stock thickened with flour and tomato paste and aromatic with Emeril Lagasse‘s “Essence” (i.e. a mix standard creole spices that you can buy or easily make yourself)–gives the dish excellent depth of flavor that is not overwhelmingly spicy.
Braised Chicken with Mushrooms
Adapted from: Emeril Lagasse’s Braised Chicken Thighs with Button Mushrooms. Recipe published in New New Orleans Cooking, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, William Morrow, 1993.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon Emeril’s creole seasoning (ingredients list follows)
- 2 each bone-in chicken legs, separated into legs and thighs (4 pieces)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 16 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups Chicken Stock
- 1 cups brown rice, cooked with 1 tablespoon of butter, and seasoned with salt and pepper
Heat the oil over medium heat in a French oven. Season the chicken pieces with the creole seasoning, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken pieces in the pot, skin side down, and sear until golden brown. Do not turn the chicken pieces until they start to release from the pan by themselves. Turn the chicken pieces over and sear the second side until it is also golden brown. Once the chicken is seared on both sides, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
N.B.: Take care as you sear the chicken, you do not want the creole seasoning to burn because a) it will fill your kitchen with eye-stinging smoke and b) will leave unappealing blackened flecks of oregano and thyme in the final your sauce.
Add the butter and mushrooms and sauté 2-3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, sautéing for another 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook, stirring continuously for about 2-3 minutes to make a light brown roux. Pour in the stock, add the tomato paste, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and return the chicken to the pot, lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered for about 30 minutes. Turn the chicken, re-cover, and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through (to about 165 degrees) and tender. Serve with brown rice, spooning over as much of the sauce as desired.
Emeril’s Creole Seasoning (or “Essence”)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yield: 2/3 cup.