Lately I’ve been feeling way too tired to come home after work and cook a big meal. Hey, it happens. And it's OK. I get like this from time to time, and it typically means that we’re going to be eating a lot of fried eggs with English muffins, extremely quick pastas, or my husband will cook a steak. But last night, although I was still in my little rut, I was craving something a bit more slow-cooked and comforting. Who doesn’t love to feel cozy with the coming of fall, especially if it’s via some good grub stuff? Or if you’re in these neck of the woods, and in the thick of it, perhaps fall has quickly and very rudely swooped in and pushed our barely-even-a-summer away. Far, far... far away... for good. *hmph*
And well, as you do in fall, I had a hankering for some serious braised chicken with deep flavors. So on my walk home from work, I made a quick pit stop at our neighborhood grocery store to pick up some essentials for the meal, raided the fresh fruit section like a kid in a candy store (because I can’t help this part ever, even if we have plenty of fruit at home and I’m in a rush), and went on my way home to start cookin’. Aside from the zesty and rich flavors of this dish, it’s a very nourishing and comforting meal that tastes like you’ve just been been slaving away for hours in the kitchen. No doubt.
But nope, you actually just prepared it really quickly and easily and let the food simmer away to do the rest of the work for you until you’re ready to chow. on. down. to. town. Or until you're ready to savor each of the flavors like they're delicate little flowers, so gentle and kind in your mouth. Oh whatever. Take your pick. Personally, I will squeeze myself somewhere in between, thank you!
So, a few things about this dish. The garlic becomes perfectly roasted and fun to eat by very easily popping them out of the slightly charred peel. Do not peel the garlic before cooking because it will burn on you and won’t give you that gorgeous roasted taste you want. The cherry tomatoes become sweeter and add a literal burst of bright flavor to the dish. And the chicken… ohhh the chicken. Seriously, this is one rustically charming, comforting and just really tasty meal.
Needless to say, feel free to add your own variation to this dish by swapping with any vegetable you’re craving at the moment. Actually, I was craving turnips but with my state lately, I was more than happy to go with the Brussels sprouts just to avoid a simple turnip chop. I be lazy like that sometimes. Plus, when my husband couldn’t get enough of the Brussels sprouts, I was super glad I picked them, tired or not.
Braised Chicken and Caramelized Vegetables
- 6 lbs chicken thighs and breasts with skin on
- 2 small-medium yellow onions sliced into thick rings
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts rinsed
- cloves from 1 whole head of garlic separated and leave unpeeled
- 1 lb cherry tomatoes rinsed
- 2 red fresno chili peppers rinsed and left whole
- juice from one lemon
- 2 cups chicken broth
- a handful of sprigs of thyme
- 3 tablespoon ghee
- salt and pepper to taste