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Erick Harcey, one of Minneapolis’ most celebrated chefs, serves this braised chicken with his supreme riff on Rice-A-Roni. Tart Granny Smith apples and cider vinegar not only tenderize the chicken thighs but also act as the base for the incredible sauce. Slideshow: More Chicken Thigh Recipes 

February 2018


Credit: Christopher Testani

Recipe Summary

1 hr 45 mins
1 hr


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a medium saucepan, warm 3 tablespoons oil over moderate heat. Add vermicelli and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vermicelli to a bowl. Add minced shallots and half of garlic to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until just soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add vermicelli, 6 cups broth, wild rice, and bouillon, and bring to a boil over high. Cover and simmer over low heat until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons chives, parsley, and 1 tablespoon thyme; season with salt and pepper.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat until shimmering. Add half of chicken to skillet, skin side down, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.

  • Add diced apples, remaining half of garlic, and sliced shallots to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 3 cups broth, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then nestle chicken in sauce, skin side up. Transfer skillet to preheated oven, and braise until chicken is cooked through and very tender, about 45 minutes.

  • Remove from oven and place chicken thighs on a plate. Set skillet with sauce over moderate heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Whisk in cream and remaining 3 tablespoons butter until incorporated. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons chives and remaining 1 tablespoon thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Return chicken, skin side up, to sauce.

  • In a medium bowl, toss together arugula, watercress, sliced apple, lemon juice, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to plate; serve with sauce, salad, and wild rice.