The flavorful meat of chicken thighs is ideal for this aromatic Southeast Asian–style braise that is prepared in a single Dutch oven, making it an easy choice for a One Pot Wednesday meal. Higher in fat and collagen than breasts, thighs are less likely to toughen during a long, slow simmer. An equal amount of baby spinach or baby mustard greens can replace the kale.
Coconut-Braised Chicken Thighs with Lemongrass
2 1/2 lb. (1.25 kg) boneless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 green onions, white and pale green portions, chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. minced serrano chile
2 cans (each 14 fl. oz./440 ml) coconut milk
1 lb. (500 g) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 star anise
1 large lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Juice of 1 lime
3 cups (5 oz./155 g) baby kale
Steamed rice for serving
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).
Pat the chicken dry and season generously with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, add the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pot.
Place the pot over medium heat, add the green onions, lemongrass and chile, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pot. Add the coconut milk, potatoes, garlic, cinnamon, coriander, star anise and lemon wedges and bring to a simmer. Cover, transfer to the oven, and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife, 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven, discard the star anise and stir in the lime juice. Add the kale and stir until just wilted. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve over steamed rice, and garnish with cilantro. Serves 4.
The Dutch Oven Cookbook covers everything you need to know about making the most of this indispensable kitchen workhorse with 25 easy-to-follow recipes.