Who said chicken cannot be part of a festive menu? Braise chicken thighs in sweet Port wine for an hour, add a handful of chestnuts if you feel like it (see note), garnish with dried cranberries and there you have it. Festive chicken! Dried cranberries are not as sweet as raisins, therefore add a tangy sweetness to the dish. You can replace port with the cypriot wine «Coumantaria». Delish.
- 12 chicken thighs, with bone and skin
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 60 grams butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 Tbs all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cup port, or other sweet wine
- 2 cups chicken stock (or one chicken stock cube, disolved in 2 cups boiling water)
- 3 Tbs dijon mustard
- 2 Tbs chopped parsley
- 2 Tbs chopped tarragon
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the olive oil over high heat. Add thighs, skin side down and cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn over and cook 1-2 minutes more, until chicken is nicely coloured but not cooked. Do this in batches if you have to. Take thighs out of pan and into a large platter until needed.
In the same saucepan add the onion and cook for a minute until soft. Add the garlic and cook stirring until onion is cooked. Add the flour and mix. Continue with the port, chicken broth, mustard, parsley and tarragon (save some for garnish). Return chicken thighs to the saucepan, skin side up, and partly cover the pan. Lower the heat and simmer for one hour, until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened slightly (uncover the pot if the chicken is cooked but sauce is too runny). Garnish with the cranberries and tarragon. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.
Note: If you want to add chestnuts to the dish, to give it a more festive note, use store-bought, cooked chestnuts and add them to the pot, 15 minutes before the chicken is done.