We had braising on the mind, and blood oranges on the counter. After a browse up and down internet road, I came up with this Blood Orange Braised Chicken.
It went so beautifully with a rice-cherry-nut salad from Ottolenghi and some beautiful baby turnip greens.
Blood Orange Braised Chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
3 onions, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprkia
2 teaspoons ginger zest
1 cup blood orange juice
1 cup dry rose
1 cup chicken stock
Skin of 1 blood orange, peeled off in wide strips with a Y-peeler
1 bunch thyme
Preheat oven to 350. Heat a large braising dish over medium high heat and then add the olive oil. Place the chicken thighs, skin side down, into the pan, being careful so they don’t spatter. (Place the edge of the thigh closest to you down first, then let it fall gently away from you into the oil.)
Fry the thighs, in batches, on both sides until they are nicely browned. Remove them onto a plate and drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat. (Save that chicken fat-olive oil mixture in a glass dish and put it in the fridge. Then use it to roast vegetables or potatoes. Amazing.)
Add the onions, celery and garlic and saute until translucent but not browning. Add the cumin, paprkia and ginger and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, mixing the spices into the vegetables. Add the orange juice and rose, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock.
Nestle the chicken thighs back into the liquid and spoon some liquid over the top of them. Bring the liquid to a boil, then sprinkle the thyme branches over the chicken, place the lid on the pot and place the pot in the oven.
Braise for about 2 to 3 hours, checking occasionally and spooning liquid over the chicken. If the sauce is not as thick as you’d like, remove the thighs to a platter, then boil the sauce until it reduceds to the consisetency you like.
To serve, place 2 chicken thighs over rice in bowl, then spoon sauce over them and garnish with baby greens.