06 May 2010

Chicken Thighs with Vermouth and Cheese

A coworker just asked me what I'd do with some chicken thighs and not much time.  I came up with this. What I love about chicken thighs is that you can't overcook them. What I dislike is the longer you cook them, the more of their flavor leaches out into the sauce, and the more the thighs become stringy.  I also don't like the texture you get when you apply high heat directly to the chicken flesh. It reminds me of plastic. In this recipe, the Wondra flour acts like a very light breading, forming a crust that keeps the meat plump, but dissolves back into the sauce. During the initial saute, it also lets some of the juices go through and stick to the pan, so you have something to deglase, and helps thicken the sauce more than the Velveeta (I know) alone.

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
Wondra flour
Salt & pepper

1/2 c dry white vermouth
1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp herbes de Provence OR 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves (not ground thyme)
1/4 lb Velveeta cheese (I know.) cut into 1/2" cubes

Preheat oven to 325.

Heat the olive oil and butter in your heaviest pan.

Dry the chicken thighs very well with paper towels and lay out in a single layer.  From a height, season with salt and pepper, and dust gently with Wondra flour. (Doing this from several feet above the chicken gets you an even, thin coverage you can't get with dredging.)

Saute the thighs in the oil and butter, in batches, if necessary, so that they do not crowd each other, and a crust is formed on the chicken. Set the chicken aside on a platter to rest.  Deglase the pan with vermouth, scraping up all the brown bits, which should dissolve and thicken the vermouth as it reduces. When the sauce is smooth, thin with chicken broth, add the herbs, and add the cheese.  Stir until the cheese melts.

Return chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan, stirring and coating all sides with the sauce.  Cover and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes to cook through.

Serve with rice.

Serves 4.5 people.


Anonymous said...

That was really, really good! And I'm going to have to make it again, as I have 1/4 lb of velveeta left that I wouldn't know what else to do with...

Rich said...

Heat slowly with a cup of salsa and go at it with some tortilla chips.

FoodTherapy4Me said...

Glad to see the new post!! Great idea!!!