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Chicken Thighs Braised with Ancho Chili and Shiraz

  1. Killer Dish!! This is the number one asked for recipe I have developed. Hearty, super-tender chicken with deep complex flavors that can be made a day ahead of time!! Get this down and it will become your go-to dish for company. Inexpensive, easy and can be made for a small group or a crowd. The wine doesn't matter. Any fruity red can be used, but Shiraz is economical and it is hard to buy one that isn't pretty good.The key is using chicken thighs because they won't dry out like chicken breast. You can't overcook this

16 Chicken Thighs with skin removed (boneless can be used but aren't quite as good)

28 oz can Whole tomatoes in juice (cut the tomatoes into halves or thirds)

Braised Chicken

1 onion diced

2 strips diced bacon

1 cup Mushrooms sliced

2 TBS brown Sugar

1/8 tsp cinammon

2 cups shiraz red wine

2 TBS ground ancho Chilies or chili powder

14 oz chicken broth

1 TBS tomato paste

3 TBS olive oil

2 TBS ancho chili powder

Optional 1 TBS chipotle pepper for heat and smoke

Cook chicken thighs and bacon in a roasting pan to brown the chicken. Add mushrooms, onion and continue to cook over medium heat. Brown but don't burn. The chicken doesn't have to be cooked through. Add red wine and cook until volume is reduced by about 50%. Add ancho chile, cinnamon, brown sugar, tomato paste, chicken broth, tomatoes. If you don't have a large roasting pan, the ingredients can be done in a skillet and then transferred to an oven safe pot/roaster so that the thighs are mostly covered with liquid. Bake at 300 for at least 2 hours with the pot being about 50% covered. It is difficult to overcook this.

Use the pot cover to adjust how much liquid is evaporated. If you want to serve this in a bowl with an intense broth, leave more liquid. If you are serving it on pasta or as depicted in the picture, evaporate more liquid. Don't bother to taste it until it is cooked. You will probably need to add some salt. Add Hot sauce or pepper to taste.

For a thicker sauce, the thighs could be dusted with flour before cooking, or you could use a Roux

Everything is optional except the chicken and some braising liquid.

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