Braising, from the French “braiser”, is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with liquid. Usually, the dish is covered and cooked at a very low simmer until the meat is fork tender. Often the cooking liquid is finished to create a sauce or gravy. I used chicken legs and thighs. Also, if you can’t find pancetta, you can use bacon.
Braised Chicken with Onions, Rosemary and Sage
3 1/2 lb large chicken breast halves and thighs, breasts cut in half crosswise
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbs olive oil
2 large onions, 1 finely chopped and 1 cut into 1-inch pieces
2 oz pancetta, chopped
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 1/2 tsp fresh sage, minced
3 small bay leaves
4 whole cloves
1 1/2 Tbs tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels, and sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper. In a heavy large, deep drying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook until brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Pour off the fat from the frying pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the chopped onion, onion pieces, pancetta, rosemary, sage, bay leaves and cloves. Saute until the onions begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring up the browned bits.
Return the chicken to the frying pan with any juices accumulated on the plate. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken breast pieces are cooked through, frequently spooning the cooking liquid over, and turning, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken breast pieces to a plate. Continue cooking the thighs until tender, about 15 minutes longer. Return the breasts to the frying pan and simmer until heated through, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately.