Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Braised chicken thighs with barbecued white beans and scallions

The creaminess of the white beans pairs deliciously with the braised chicken thighs in this easy, one-pot meal. "Simply throw everything in and let the stove do the work," Holland said. "The flavors are familiar, and you can truly get that classic barbecue taste without lighting the grill."

Chef Tanya Holland
Brown Sugar Kitchen, Oakland

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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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