Anyway, braised chicken. I seriously have grown fond of braising chicken thighs for some serious flavor and beautifully tender meat, as well as the thighs are very affordable, and who doesn't like that! If you're not a fan of dark meat, give this method of cooking a chance, you may not turn back. Also, braising is easy, fairly forgiving and open to many different interpretations for flavor.
Using bone-in/skin-on chicken thighs, you need to sear the meat. I switched the recipe steps around and cooked the bacon first, then seared the chicken in some of the bacon fat.
When the chicken is done, you start to saute some fennel, carrots and shallots, add some fresh parsley and thyme.
Braising has one downfall, you can't have crispy skin on your chicken. Usually, I sear the chicken to render the fat and start to establish a flavor base for the cooking liquid, then I remove and discard the skin. This time, when the braising was complete, I put everything on a baking sheet and put it under the broiler. The skin crisped up perfectly. The veggies got a light touch of crispness as well.
The braising liquid (wine & chicken broth) is fairly light and needs to be reduced on the stove top to make a rich, lovely sauce. Let this boil for about 10-15 minutes, reducing to about one cup of liquid.
Plate up. Chicken, veggies, bacon, sauce. Delicious. The carrots kept a bit of crunch, the fennel and shallots were soft, the bacon chewy. Great textual contrast paired with wonderful flavor components. The fennel's anise flavors paired beautifully with the carrots and contrasted the rich sweetness of the bacon and shallots and complimented the moist chicken. Well done.
NOTE: The recipe will be forthcoming when I have it in front of me.