Dutch oven is key to super-tender braised chicken
Braising and Dutch ovens go hand in hand.
A Dutch oven, said by some researchers to have been named for the Dutch settlers in Pennsylvania who used similar pots, is a large kettle-type vessel that has a tight-fitting lid. The heavy lid prevents steam from escaping, keeping the moisture in. It's used for slow, moist cooking methods -- such as braising -- so the end result is a super-tender piece of meat.
To braise means to brown on all sides in a small amount of fat. The meat is then cooked, tightly covered, in a small amount of liquid for as long as several hours. A Dutch oven keeps the moisture in, allowing the meat to cook in its own juices. To make sure no steam escapes or liquid evaporates, you can cover the pot with foil and then place the lid on top so it's sealed well.
A Dutch oven is ideal for many cooking methods, because it can be easily transferred from the stovetop to the oven. The cookware usually is made of a heavy cast iron and often has an enameled finish.
On the high end, the round 3 1⁄2-quart Le Creuset white cast-iron French oven in Sur La Table's early spring catalog is $174.95. A red enameled cast-iron 5.5-quart chili pot from the Martha Stewart collection is $100 at www.macys.com; the sale price recently was $55. Even less-expensive versions are available; you can get a Lodge cast-iron covered Dutch oven for $29.99 at Target.
This dish gets its intense flavors from a sweet Spanish paprika and crushed red pepper.
This recipe is From Eating Well magazine.
Prep time: 35 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes.
If you are using a combination of chicken pieces, cut the breasts in half crosswise to make smaller pieces and separate the thighs and drumsticks. With the pieces the same size, they'll cook evenly.
Note: Once the chicken is cooked, you can cool the mixture and refrigerate it for as long as 1 day. When ready to serve, remove the chicken from the mixture and prepare the sour cream as above for the sauce. Follow the remaining instructions, allowing more time to heat the chicken through.
3 to 3 1⁄2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks, breasts), skin removed, trimmed
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 cups finely diced onions
Pinch of sugar
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1⁄2 cup diced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1⁄2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley, dill and chives
Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and season with 1⁄8 teaspoon salt and the black pepper.
In a large, heavy casserole dish or Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft and light brown, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the bell peppers, tomato paste, paprika and crushed red pepper. Add the chicken, and stir it gently into the onion mixture. Sprinkle with the marjoram and add the broth. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over medium-low heat until the chicken is very tender, for about 50 minutes.
Just before the chicken is done, in a small bowl whisk the sour cream, flour and 1⁄8 teaspoon salt until smooth.
When the chicken is done, remove it to a plate. Stir the sour cream mixture into the sauce; return to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce coats the spoon. Reduce the heat to low, return the chicken to the sauce and reheat, for about 1 minute. Serve garnished with parsley, dill and chives, if desired.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 338 calories (44 percent from fat), 17 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 98 milligrams cholesterol, 31 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams dietary fiber, 316 milligrams sodium.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers defensive end Tuitt shifts into high gear
- Rossi: Pirates foolish to bet on Burnett return
- Rain postpones Pirates-Cubs game
- Steelers notebook: No decision on surgery for rookie CB Golson
- Steelers’ Mitchell taking cautious approach about dealing with injuries
- Authorities identify 2 men killed in fiery crash in Pittsburgh
- Thirsty pit bull turned on Arnold neighbors
- Inside the Steelers: Wide array of receiving options shine
- Pirates notebook: Trade movement confidence booster for Morse
- Storms knock out power to thousands of customers in Western Pa.
- Obama’s Clean Power plan doesn’t change much; opponents remain firm