Fresh Ideas for Braising
Braising is a cooking technique that requires high searing heat at the beginning and low and slow heat to finish. It was created for tough cuts of meat or meat that is still on the bone.
After searing the meat on all sides until browned, but not cooked through, liquid is added to the pot, the heat is lowered and the dish continues to cook slowly at a moderate temperature.
This technique creates tender and juicy meat. You can also add vegetables such as onions, potatoes and carrots to cook alongside the meat. Add some broccoli, asparagus or peas at the end of cooking and you have a complete meal.
Because most recipes for braising have heavy flavors and cuts of meat that contain more fat, I wanted to create something that is just as warm and comforting as a stew or a roast, but has lighter flavors and a leaner cut of meat.
The citrus that is currently in season and chicken on the bone is perfect for this dish. It has bright flavors, a beautiful, light sauce and juicy meat that is completely satisfying. Pork tenderloin would also be good in this recipe.
Citrus-Braised Chicken & Blood Orange
2 large bone-in chicken breasts or 4 skinless thighs
Salt and pepper for seasoning
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 lemon, for juicing
4 blood oranges, 3 sliced & one reserved for juicing
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
2 cups chicken broth, approximate
Rub the chicken with salt and pepper. Add oil to a wide-bottomed stock pot. Heat to high and sear the chicken until brown on both sides. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon and the blood orange. Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the broth & herbs and bring to a boil. Scatter the sliced blood oranges over the top. Cover and transfer to a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes or reduce heat to low and finish cooking on the stove. Keep an eye on the level of the liquid and add more broth or water, if necessary. When the chicken is ready remove to a serving plate and spoon the sauce and blood orange slices over the top.