Last year I wrote a recipe for Braised Crispy Chicken Thighs w/ Fried Pancetta to be used in a spring catalog for a cookware brand I was working with. It was probably one of my favorite recipes, but since I wrote it for them it wasn’t mine to share on my blog anymore (insert sad face emoji). Side note: I’m glad there were no “emojis” when I was a teenager – I am 100% positive that it would have reduced my language skills to that and hashtags. #introvert #neverknowwhattosay #marriedtoawordnerd #hatepunctuation #hashtag.
Ok, ok…back to the recipe. Now, there is only one way that I eat chicken skin…and that is suuuuuper crispy. Like….extra, very extra, crispy. Anything less than that, and it’s pretty much a guaranteed gag reflex reaction! And the recipe that I did for the catalog, was super, extra, crispy…to perfection. So, when I was flipping through my Bon Appetit magazine the other day and saw a lovely Kimchi Braised Chicken, I knew exactly what I had to do! I dug through that old catalog, found my recipe, and started the process of rewriting…with kimchi this time. And I was not disappointed.
Full disclosure, I bought a pre-made Kimchi at Whole Foods. Not that’s it’s hard to make, it just takes time….and life has been busy lately! Better people than me would likely make their own, haha! HERE is an amazing recipe by Dr. Karen S Lee if you’re feeling more DIY than me. Best of all, she includes some great tips that only come from experience and tells you about all the awesome health benefits. So check it out!
Kimchi Braised Crispy Chicken Thighs
4 oz thick cut, diced prosciutto
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin on
5-6 large garlic cloves, lightly smashed and peeled
1 pint (25-30) cherry tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups Kimchi, pre or homemade* (I used THIS)
1/4 cup chopped green (spring) onions or chives
Equipment: 12″ Casserole pan like THIS one. Or another pot/pan large enough to hold 8 chicken thighs.
Note: Spice/Heat choice is up to you. I used a mild one so the whole family could enjoy it. Or make your own with THIS recipe.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. To ensure crispy skin, set the chicken out for 30 minutes before getting started. Trim off any excess skin on the bottom of each thigh, then pat dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and pepper.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the oil over medium heat in your 12” Casserole Pan until hot and shimmering. Add the prosciutto to the pan and cook, stirring, until browned all over. Transfer the prosciutto to a small bowl and set aside. Do not clean out the pan.
3. Add the chicken, skin side down to the same pan, over medium heat and cook until golden and crispy, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a clean separate dish, skin side facing up and set aside.
4. Add the garlic and the cherry tomatoes to the pan with all of the leftover fat and juices from the meat. Cook, stirring often until the tomatoes begin to soften and crack open, about 7 minutes. Add the broth to the pan, scraping any browned pieces and bring back to a simmer. Continue cooking, undisturbed, until the liquid is reduced by half.
5. Stir in 1 cup of the kimchi (reserving the rest for later). Nestle the chicken back into the pan, skin side up, keeping the skin above the liquid but submerging most of the meat. (This is what keeps it deliciously crispy and not soggy.) Then sprinkle half of the prosciutto pieces over the chicken thighs, saving the rest for garnish. Transfer pan to the oven and cook, uncovered, until chicken is tender and done, approximately 30 minutes.
6. Once removed from the oven, using tongs, remove the chicken to platter or baking rack (skin side up of course!) Then place the pan over medium-high heat, stir in the remaining kimchi and simmer and reduce until the sauce has reduced and thickened some. Sometimes, it’s already there and needs no reducing.
7. Divide the kimchi sauce among four bowls. Place two pieces of chicken on top (per bowl of course), and garnish with green onions/chives, and the remaining fried prosciutto pieces.
Other serving suggestions:
Serve over pan-fried Cappello’s grain free gnocchi (get it HERE). Simply fry the gnocchi in a pan with a little olive oil until warmed through. No need to boil them.
Also delicious, served over zoodles, or any spiraled veggie, squash or root veggie!
Super awesome, chilled and eaten straight from the fridge cold like fried chicken.