Happy Monday! Is anyone happy about Mondays, anyway, with all that weekend-ending, job-returning glory that accompanies the start of the week? It’s comparatively warm today, which puts the temperature still at a couple of degrees below freezing. Plus the wind chill is no fun here! U of Wisconsin-Madison just rolled out their admissions, which puts everyone on edge. Including me, even though I didn’t apply. It’s just one of those things, where if you see some other school release any information, you sort of assume that one of your schools are releasing info soon as well. I’m hoping for one or two of my schools to notify this week (whether I get in or not is another issue, I guess) but I know deep down that this hope is relatively futile for another week or two.
So instead of obsessing, I’ve thrown myself back into the kitchen. Last night, I made a green tea pound cake. It was delicious, by the way, but my loaf pan is ridiculously long (why you gotta go against standard sizes, ikea??) and there was not nearly enough batter for it to, you know, rise into the shape of a loaf. So I'm going to make it again and report back some other time. But I digress.
When I bought my first dutch oven, I scoured the internet for braising recipes, because I was convinced I would try all of them. Cue two or three months later, I’ve tried only like three recipes altogether because I’m a lazy bum who makes the same stuff over and over again, with ingredients I already have. One recipe that has always stuck in the back of my mind though, is the forty cloves of garlic chicken that gets thrown around an awful lot.
I don’t have a whole chicken though, and I don’t have forty cloves of garlic (I could maybe spare like 15 cloves??). Incidentally, I also don’t have white wine. So basically, I attempted the forty cloves of garlic chicken but I altered everything to the point where its not even the same dish anymore. It’s fine though, because its so deeelish. Plus, something I’ve learned since I bought my dutch ovens - you can literally braise any type of meat with a decent amount of fat in it, and it will be amazeballs. Like literally anything.
Ward off the January cold and the early nighttimes with this garlic and beer braised chicken thighs, which will more or less simulate the happiness of sliding into your blankets (come on, we all wish we were in bed…it is FREEZING). Serve it with rice or even coconut rice, or a good chunk of warm bread. Eat it while cuddling in front of the TV. Pretend its Saturday, and you don’t have to go to work tomorrow. Have some tea and cake and skip the gym (yes please!).
Garlic and Beer Braised Chicken Thighs
What you need:
- 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 15 cloves garlic (or however many you can spare, but more than 10 should be better)
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup beer
- Chicken stock, amount varies
- 4 cups kale, roughly chopped
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
How to do it:
- Generously rub salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence on both chicken thighs. Brown chicken thighs using medium-low heat on all four sides in a heavy dutch oven. This will take some time, so it’s a good time to do this first and then prep everything else while the thighs are searing.
- When the thighs are browned, remove from the pot. Saute garlic cloves and onion until golden brown. Add beer to deglaze the pot.
- Return chicken thighs into the dutch oven, skin side up. Add enough chicken stock for the liquid to reach halfway up the chicken thighs (about 1 cup in my 4-qt dutch oven).
- Turn the heat down to low and allow the chicken to braise for an hour.
- After an hour, taste the sauce and add salt and pepper according to taste. Nestle kale into the pot, around the chicken thighs. Drop in the cherry tomatoes too, they will soften and burst when you eat them, which is like the most fun thing ever.
- Allow the dish to braise for another half an hour before serving.