Braised Chicken Thighs With Celery Root & Pomegranate Molasses
by Shauna and Daniel Ahern, Gluten-Free Girl & The Chef, Vashon, Washington
This is a great gluten-free weeknight meal: A one-pot dish that doesn’t require much work, but still tastes sophisticated. The pomegranate molasses with a little honey and butter makes the sauce bright and complex, and the celery root adds a heft to the dish that makes it more than braised chicken thighs. Nestle these chicken thighs and their sauce over quinoa or mashed potatoes and you have a meal.
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 bone-in, skin-on Smart Chicken thighs
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 medium celery root, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 8 tablespoons pomegranate molasses*
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Zest of 1 lemon
- *Pomegranate molasses (also known as pomegranate syrup) is simply pomegranate juice that has been reduced into a thick, rich syrup. Look for it in the condiment aisle of your grocer, or make your own: Combine three parts molasses with 1 part pomegranate juice.
Preheat the oven to 425°.
Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put 4 of the chicken thighs in the skillet, skin side down. Cook until the bottoms are browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate. (You can do this in two batches if the pan is too crowded.)
Add the remaining olive oil to the hot Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook and stir until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for another 2 minutes. Add the celery root pieces and cook, stirring, until the celery root starts to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock, pomegranate molasses, and honey to the Dutch oven. Stir occasionally as the liquid comes to a boil. Let boil for one minute, then season with salt and pepper.
Nestle the chicken thighs into the hot liquid. Cover the pot and transfer to the preheated oven. Let the chicken braise until the internal temperature of the thickest portion of the thigh reaches 165°F, about 45 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, add the nuts to a large skillet over medium-high heat and toss them around in the skillet frequently until they have browned and smell toasty, about 5 minutes. Set them aside.
When the chicken is done, use tongs to remove the chicken onto a large platter. Set the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and let the liquid simmer until it starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the butter and lemon zest. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs and top with the lemon zest. Toss the toasted cashews over top. Serve immediately with quinoa or mashed potatoes.