An Easy Dinner for this Busy Holiday Season
The holiday season is busy enough that adding birthdays into the mix is enough to make anyone go crazy. When the night for a friend’s birthday dinner came around, we knew we wanted something that didn’t require hours in the kitchen. Braised Lemon Chicken Thighs and Brussels Sprouts, courtesy of In Sock Monkey Slippers, was the dish we had been looking for.
After Thanksgiving and a few holiday parties, we were ready for something on the lighter side yet still full of flavor, and this dish was just that! The chicken fell off the bone and melted in our mouths, the Brussels sprouts were flavorful and refreshing, and the couscous soaked up the flavors of the thyme and lemon.
8 chicken thighs (figure on 2 per serving)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups quality or homemade chicken stock
1 lemon, quartered
12 sprigs fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 350°F. Evenly sprinkle salt and pepper over thighs. In a large braising pot with a lid, heat oil on high heat. Place 4 chicken thighs skin down in the pot and sear until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and sear on the other side until browned. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining thighs.
Reduce heat to medium. After allowing the oil to cool slightly, about a 2 minutes, add the garlic, shallot, and Brussels sprouts. Cook for 3 minutes until the Brussels sprouts are bright green. Add lemon juice and chicken stock. Return the thighs to the pot with the sprouts and add lemon quarters and thyme. Cover, transfer to the oven, and braise for 1 hour.
Plate chicken thighs and Brussels sprouts and serve with a drizzle of the “jus” – the lemony braising liquid that remains.
Optional: To enhance the flavor and to make a “sauce” with the remaining braising juices, remove the thighs and Brussels sprouts and strain the cooking liquid. Return the “jus” to the braising pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until reduce by half until thickened slightly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and stir to combine. Spoon over chicken thighs.