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Braised chicken thighs with barbecued white beans and scallions

Recipe by:Chef Tanya Holland
Brown Sugar Kitchen, Oakland


  • 4 to 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    2 thick slices bacon, chopped, or 2 tbsp. avocado or canola oil
    1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
    1 small bell pepper (green, red or a mixture), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
    1 stalk celery, finely chopped
    2 large cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes or 1/2 jalapeño, minced
    3 cups cooked white beans (from 1 heaping cup dried beans or two 15-oz. cans, drained and rinsed)
    1/3 cup chicken broth, vegetable stock or beer
    2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced
    Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Barbecue sauce
    1/2 cup chicken broth, vegetable stock or beer
    1/2 cup ketchup
    3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
    3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
    1 tbsp. dark molasses (optional)
    1 tbsp. coarse-grain or brown mustard
    (or substitute 1 cup purchased barbecue sauce plus 1/2 cup broth)


Season chicken all over with salt and pepper and set aside.

To make sauce, combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 12-inch ovenproof skillet with a lid (cast-iron is great) over medium heat, fry bacon until fat renders and it is crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel to drain, leaving fat in the pan. Discard all but 2 tbsp. fat (or add oil so you have about 2 tbsp. in the pan). Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken, skin side down, and sear until well browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Pour out all but 2 tbsp. of the fat. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, peppers, celery and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until vegetables become tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes or jalapeños and stir to combine. Stir in beans and reserved bacon. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce and add the rest to the bean mixture along with 1/3 cup broth. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Return chicken to pan, skin side up. Cover pan and transfer to the oven. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and parsley. Serve with sauce alongside.

Serves 4 to 6

Photo: © 2020 Lori Eanes

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