Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Black Bean Tapenade

Serving size:4
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Black Bean Tapenade

Marinated Chicken

  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 3 lb chicken thighs with skin (about 8), bone in
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns, toasted
  • 5 clove garlic, peeled and smashed with the back of a knife
  • 5 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 4 - 5 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar

To make the marinated chicken: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 6 cups water, the salt, sugar, orange slices, thyme, onion, garlic, peppercorns, coriander, and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the marinade to a container with a lid that’s large enough to fit all of the chicken and let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. Add the chicken, cover, and marinate overnight.

    Black Bean Tapenade

    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 1/2 tsp sambal
    • 1/2 tsp chiffonade of fresh mint
    • 1 tbsp fermented black beans
    • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup niçoise olives, pitted and roughly chopped

    To make the tapenade: In a small bowl, mix together the olives, oil, lemon juice, beans, mint, sambal, and honey. Set aside.


      • 2 tbsp butter
      • 1/2 cup white wine
      • 1 quart chicken broth
      • 4 clove garlic, chopped
      • 1/2 onion
      • 1 tbsp blended vegetable oil (half vegetable, half olive oil)

      To make the sauce: Pull the chicken out of the marinade and discard the marinade. Place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with a kitchen towel or paper towels, skin-side down, to let it dry a bit. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon of the oil, then half of the thighs, skin-side down. (Be careful, as chicken may splatter a bit.) Turn the heat down to medium and let the thighs brown for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn them over and let them brown a couple of minutes more. Transfer the chicken, skin-side up, to a 4-inch-deep baking dish or potlarge enough to fit all the thighs in one layer (4 by 8 inch works well). Repeat with another 1/2 tablespoon oil and the remaining thighs.

      Once all of the thighs are browned and are in the baking dish, discard all but about 1 tablespoon of fat from the sauté pan. Add the onions and garlic and brown for 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer them into the baking dish with the thighs.

      Bring the broth to a boil in a separate saucepan.

      Preheat the oven to 275 deg. Return the sauté pan to the heat and add the wine. Simmer to reduce by half, using a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits that are left from cooking the chicken. Add it all to the baking dish along with the hot broth. Cover the baking dish with a lid or foil and place it in the oven to braise until very tender, about 2 hours. Remove it from the oven, uncover, and let the chicken cool in the liquid for 30 minutes to finish up cooking.

      Carefully remove the thighs and transfer them to a rack, skin-side still up. Strain the liquid from the dish through a fine-mesh sieve into a saucepan. Let it sit long enough for the fat to separate, about 10 minutes, then use a ladle to skim off most of the fat. Place the pan on high heat and simmer the sauce to reduce until it coats the back of a spoon. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter.

      Up to 3 days ahead: Make the Black Bean Tapenade. Cover and refrigerate. Day before: Make the marinade and marinate the chicken. Cook time: Brown the chicken, make the pan sauce, and braise the chicken in the oven. While the final sauce is reducing, crisp the chicken, rewarm in the oven, and bring the tapenade to room temperature.

      Recipe courtesy of Girl in the Kitchen by Stephanie Izard/Chronicle Books, 2011.