Braising is a cooking technique that is typically used on tougher cuts. The method is to sear the outside of the meat to increase flavor and then slow cook it in liquid. The cooking relies on heat, time, and moisture to break down the tough connective collagen tissues in meat. Simply put, it means cooked in water or some other liquid.
Braised and Succulent
As with all braises, slow cooking tenderizes the meat and the liquid (water, stock or even a splash of wine) melds its flavor with that of the chicken, resulting in fall-off-the-fork-meat that is moist and tender.
This makes braising an ideal way to cook a pasture raised chicken because these can be a little tough as they have more muscle from running around outside.
In braising, you shouldn’t completely cover the meat with liquid, just enough to cook in and then make a gravy.
Braised Chicken with Mushrooms, Capers and Artichokes
- 3. 5 pounds of cut up chicken with the skin – can be a combination of breasts on the bone, drumsticks, thighs, wings, etc.
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 can artichoke hearts marinated in water, drained
- 10 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thick
- 5 – 6 lime leaves
- Handful of garlic scapes or other fresh vegetable that will hold up in the crock pot
- 2 Tbsp capers
- Salt and pepper to taste when all cooked
- 3 Tbsp fresh chopped herbs such as marjoram, thyme, savory, parsley
- Fat for browning the chicken
- Crock pot
- Large fry pan
- In the fry pan melt some bacon fat, ghee, butter or other fat appropriate for high heat
- Add the chicken and brown all sides and set aside (about 8 minutes)
- Scrape up the drippings and add the mushrooms and brown, remove and drain any liquid out
- Add all the other ingredients except the fresh herbs, capers and salt and pepper to the crock pot and cook on low for 5 – 6 hours
- At the last 30 – 45 minutes add the fresh chopped herbs and the capers
- Just before serving add the salt and pepper
- Serve with the gravy as is, or reduce the gravy in a pan to thicken.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Serves: 4 – 6
Tip: To make a thicker gravy you can remove the liquid into a pan, bring to a simmer and reduce until it is half the volume. This also concentrates the flavor.