Any T&T recipes for Braised Chicken Breasts?

amck2October 3, 2012

I borrowed Molly Stevens' "All About Braising" cookbook from the library this past summer - when it felt too hot for braising... I have some bone-in chicken breasts to cook and would love to make more use of my LC braising pan. Do any of you have a tried & true recipe to offer? Thanks -

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Chicken breasts are really not suitable for braising. You might get away with it if you are very very careful not to over cook, but a little too long in the braising liquid and you will have something tough and stringy instead of the tender delectable meat you would have if you used chicken thighs.

Braising is a wonderful technique because it makes tender out of tough and is pretty well care free....brown the meat on the stove top, toss in some liquid and something flavorful, cover and put it into a slow oven for..."some" time...the time is not critical it can cook longer is dinner is delayed. but not chicken breasts. After browning, you might want them to oven cook with some white wine and onions and sliced red peppers....for about 25 minutes, which is not really enough time for the vegetables to be cooked to the flavorful mush they are supposed to be.

Brown your chicken breasts on the stove top, brown the skin well, in just a touch of butter...the fat will soon cook out of the skin. Then for 2 half bone in breasts add about 1/2 cup of white wine...a moscato works well for this, let that simmer up then add 1/2 cup of apricot preserves that you have stirred up with 2 tsps of soy sauce, pour over the chicken, put on the lid and turn the fire way down and let simmer until the meat is no longer pink in the thickest part....should take about 20 to 25 minutes. Then remove the chicken to a platter, turn the heat up on the braiser and let it reduce a bit....spoon the sauce over the chicken.
Linda c

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 1:40PM
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Thanks, Linda. I remembered from Stevens' book that chicken breasts are not the best choice for braising. She did have a recipe or two where they could be substituted for dark meat parts, but called for less cooking time. That's obviously why I haven't had much luck finding recipes in the cookbooks I own. But I hoped some folks here who are "white meat only" people, like me, might have come up with a recipe they tweaked to make braising work for chicken breasts.

Your technique and ingredients sound good to me (and I happen to have them all on hand - well, not moscato, but white wine...) so I'm going to give it a try.

One question, instead of simmering the pan on my burner, could I do the browning and sauce reducing steps on my cooktop, but put the covered pot in my oven to cook for the 20-25 mins.? If so, what would you suggest for the oven temp?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 2:21PM
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Browning is best done on a stove top for chicken....more control. If you oven brown, by the time the skin is browned, the chicken will be cooked through.
and sauce reduction is best done with heat reom the bottom.
I suppose you could do the 20 minutes or so of cooking in the oven....but frankly it's hardly worth heating the oven for something that could be done as well on the stove top. that's the point of a cast iron can do on the stove top and get "oven" results....without heating the oven....and it's much easier to stir things and peek at them while cooking on a burner rather than the oven.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Your reply makes good sense regarding heating the oven. I guess I just have to use my brazier to become confident that it will cook effectively on the stovetop. I'm so used to cooking larger amounts in my Dutch oven that I felt more comfortable going that route.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:46PM
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I use my braiser all the time for chicken, usually the boneless but it works OK for the bone it. I never have rubbery stringy chicken. I do something similar to what LindaC suggests but I sautee onions and mushrooms and some herbs, then sear the chicken after the onions become translucent and the mushrooms have gotten well browned. Then sear the chicken on both sides. Then add some chicken broth or veg. broth to the pan and braise the chicken for 20-25 min. Can add a splash of wine too. Take the chicken out of the pan, set aside. Reduce the sauce that's left in the pan, and add some milk or cream or sour cream if you like. Simmer until thick, then add the chicken back into the pan to coat well with the yummy sauce.

You could also do a similar kind of thing with a different veggie or two and then add fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes along with the broth. That would make an italian or Moroccan type of braise.

I know they say stay away from white meat chicken in the crockpot and braising but I'm not sure why, maybe chicken of old but I have never had a problem. Just don't overcook! If you're going to cook it for a long time, lower the heat, I think that's why folks get tough rubbery chicken, they use too high heat and cook too long.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:20PM
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