Braised Herb Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Carrots

Braised Herb Chicken Thighs
2 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 chicken thighs, skinned (or other chicken pieces, skinned)
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1 1/2 c. carrot slices
1 1/2 c. chicken broth + 1/2 c. dry white wine OR 2 c. chicken broth 
1 1/2 c. quartered small red potatoes

Combine first 6 ingredients in a bag.  Add chicken, seal the bag, and shake to coat.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add chicken and remaining flour mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side.  Add carrots and onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  

Add broth + wine (or just broth) and potatoes; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 35 minutes or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.

If the sauce is a little thin, you can thicken it up a little bit right at the end like this: Stir together 1 tablespoon of corn starch or flour with 1/2 cup of water until it's smooth.  Pour into the simmering broth and stir.  Sauce should thicken as it continues boiling, within a couple of minutes.  Repeat if necessary.
Potatoes, carrots, and onions

Ready to simmer
I got this recipe a LOOOOONG time ago from a friend in Virginia (who, ironically enough, had been a coworker friend of mine in North Carolina, had moved away, and then moved to Virginia the same month we did and lived a mile away from us).  I still remember how she and her husband prepared this dish for us when they had us over, and I though it was so fancy and delicious that I couldn't wait to try it myself.  

I know the first picture doesn't do it justice.  But you can trust me on this.  This is a go-to recipe.  

Yes, the taste makes me think it's fancy and difficult to execute, but as it turns out, it's really straightforward!  The "braised" part of the title is just the first couple of steps - seasoning the meat, browning it (but not fully cooking it), and then adding some liquid so that the meat cooks and tenderizes while at the same time flavoring the sauce.  

Braising is a handy skill to transfer to other recipes that call for meat cooked in liquid (like soups and stews) because it adds another layer of flavor to the meat.

That's about it.  Time to catch up on all the stuff laying around the house that needs to somehow find its rightful place!

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