Braised chicken is a great choice for an easy weeknight one-pot meal, and using bone-in, skin-on chicken helps keep the meat from drying out and yields the best flavor. However, since chicken skin can take on a rubbery texture when cooked submerged in liquid, our test kitchen cooks like to sear the chicken, then braise it in just enough liquid to cover the meat without submerging the skin, which results in meltingly tender chicken with crispy skin. Substitute drumsticks for the chicken thighs, if you like.
Braised Chicken with Squash and Pepitas
2 lb. (1 kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh sage, plus sage leaves for garnish
1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) white wine
1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) chicken stock, plus more as needed
2 Tbs. pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).
Pat the chicken dry and season generously with salt and pepper.
In a Dutch oven or large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Sear the chicken, skin side down, until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter and set aside. Carefully pour off most of the fat from the pot, leaving about 1 Tbs. in the pot.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and squash to the pot. Cook until the onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped sage, nutmeg, paprika, white wine and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin side up, in the pot so that the meat is submerged but the skin is above the liquid, adding a bit more stock if necessary.
Transfer the pot to the oven and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crispy, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven. Transfer the chicken and squash to a serving platter. Garnish with pepitas and sage leaves and serve immediately. Serves 2 to 4.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen