Braised Chicken Thighs with Lemon-Garlic Cream Pasta

9 03 2012

Lemon and garlic….two of my favorite things! I found a great recipe from Emeril Lagasse for lemon-garlic braised chicken thighs, which I just had to try my own version of! Emeril’s recipe serves the chicken thighs with butter-parsley pasta, but I like my version better 🙂

Braised Chicken Thighs with Lemon-Garlic Cream Pasta

The following serves 4:

  • 6-8 chicken thighs with bones and skin, about 3 pounds (I used boneless, skinless instead and it was still delicious!)
  • Salt and pepper
  • All-purpose flour, enough to lightly dredge the chicken
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 heaping Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Dry white wine, a few turns of the pan
  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti (or pasta of your choice)
  • Couple Tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • Heavy cream, a few turns of the pan
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place some flour in a shallow dish and lightly dredge the chicken in the flour and set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the chicken and brown well on both sides, about 6 minuets. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions to the oil and cook, stirring and wilting down, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, about 1/4 tsp salt and a bay leaf and cook 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with some white wine, a few turns of the pan, be sure to scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook for about a minute. Next add the lemon juice, chicken broth and the browned chicken thighs to the pan. Bring mixture to a simmer, cover tightly and place in the oven. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, heat a baking dish in the oven for a few minutes to get it hot, then add the chicken and the braising liquid and cover with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes, remove the lid (or foil) and cook an additional 15 minutes, or until cooked through and tender.

While the chicken is baking, cook the pasta according to the package, to al dente. When the pasta has about 5 minutes left to go, remove the chicken from the oven and transfer most of the braising liquid (including onions and garlic) to a skillet over medium-high heat. Let the chicken rest in the baking dish in the meantime. Bring liquid to a bubble, add zest of 1 lemon and 2 Tbsp cold butter. Simmer until it starts to thicken. Toss in pasta and heavy cream, a few turns of the pan. Next add in grated cheese and chopped parsley and toss pasta until well coated with the sauce.

Plate the pasta, topped with chicken thighs and another sprinkle of chopped parsley.

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