A Perfect Fall Meal
There’s nothing like braised anything when the weather gets cooler and you’re not out firing up the grill. Not that braised meals aren’t perfect any time of the year. They are, but the fall and winter is when I am looking for something more hearty. Nothing satisfies that hunger more than a seasonal braise.
Braising is a simple technique where you brown a food, add a cooking liquid and let the food simmer in the oven covered until it breaks down and becomes tender. No magic. Just sear and simmer.
It works especially well on tough cuts of meat. We’ve all heard of pot roast and braised veal shanks or leg of lamb. One of my favorite dishes is braised chicken with whatever herbs and spices I might have lying around. I’m especially fond of braising chicken with leeks or fennel. Check out chicken thighs with sausage and braised fennel.
Please visit my web site for a more detailed explanation on braising, what cuts are best and the science that makes it work.
I adapted this recipe from December issue of Fine Cooking, one of my favorite culinary magazines. I made a few changes but the process is pretty much the same whenever you braise chicken. The difference comes from the ingredients used. At the end of the recipe I have some suggestions for leftovers.
Braised Chicken with Apple Cider, Apples, Pears & Mustard
The recipe calls for using hard cider, which is alcoholic, but I used fresh sweet apple cider because that’s what I had and to be honest, I misread the recipe. I’m not sure why they say don’t use fresh apple cider, the recipe turned out great.