Chicken Sauce Piquante
by Molly McCook, Chef, Ellerbe Fine Foods, Fort Worth, Texas
- 4 Smart Chicken thighs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and medium diced
- 4 ribs celery, medium diced
- 2 bell peppers, stem and seeds removed, medium diced
- 2 tomatoes, medium diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat oven to 335°F.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, paprika, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon of the salt and set aside. Place the onion, celery, and bell peppers in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and set aside.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and transfer to the pan, skin-side down, to brown. Turn the chicken over and brown the other side. Once both sides are browned, transfer the chicken to a baking dish with the bay leaves and set aside. Carefully discard all but about 1 tablespoon of the oil and the browned drippings in the pan. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the finely chopped vegetables and the remaining tablespoon of salt. Sauté the vegetables until they begin to brown and stick to the pan, approximately 7 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and garlic to the vegetables. Cook the vegetable mixture for an additional 5 minutes. Once the tomatoes begin to break down, add the chicken broth and bring the pan to a boil. Carefully pour the contents of the pan over the chicken in the baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Place the baking dish in the oven on the middle rack and let cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the chicken easily pulls away from the bone. Serve the chicken and sauce over rice or grits.