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Chicken thighs – skin on, bone in, are my absolutely favourite thing to make for dinner. But, scrolling through my archives, I don’t really have that many recipes for them, because, really I don’t really use recipes – they just roast up well on a tray or in a casserole dish around whatever I happen to have in the fridge at the time, with tender meat and crispy, addictive skin. So, I thought I’d change that today with this simple and delicious recipe for these Chinese-style Soy Sauce Braised Chicken Thighs, gently flavoured with fresh ginger and a hit of garlic.
The recipe that started this love affair was this Mediterranean Roast Chicken, a real family favourite. You just throw everything together, stick in the chicken, and roast. The results are greater than the sum of their parts. Make this once then go off on your own. It is how I finally reached a simple, paired down supper formula that leads to simple, achievable, last minute dinners such as this dish of Chicken Thighs with Roasted Leeks & Romesco.
This simple recipe for Soy Sauce Braised Chicken Thighs, however, has its roots in a different recipe. In Diana Henry you’ve got a brilliant food writer who loved skin on, bone in chicken thighs as much as I do, and in 2015 she published A Bird In The Hand: Chicken recipes for every day and every mood(ad) which is essentially, brilliantly, a book just of chicken recipes. It’s wonderful.
Anyway, from A Bird In The Hand came a lovely recipe for chicken thighs pan seared, then baked in the oven with peaches, honey and lavender to make an addictive pan sauce, perfect for mopping up with lots of crusty bread. Again, it was another chicken thigh technique that is worth more than the sum of its parts – there was no way I was going to get J to eat dinner with lavender in it so you can find my version here as my Roast Chicken with Honey, Peaches & Thyme. Probably also because I’m basically married to my Le Creuset shallow casserole dish (gifted / ad) – Charlie, the poor prop stylist for One Pan Pescatarian (ad) can attest to this as I used it in the book so often she had to keep on seeking out so many different, suitably aesthetic pans to use in the book for some variety – this method stuck with me. For reference, see my (currently seasonal) One Pan Autumn Chicken with Apples & Prunes, and over at BBC Food, my One Pan Chicken with Ginger & Apricots.
So, these Soy Sauce Braised Chicken Thighs. They’re a simple non-traditional, but still Asian chicken thighs inspired dinner idea I like to serve alongside fluffy jasmine rice and sesame pak choi. Nice and easy (though, it you’re looking to go a little fancier, my Korean Cucumber Salad would also be great on the side, too!)
Skin on, bone in chicken thighs simply braised in seasoned soy sauce to yield tender chicken and crisp skin – perfect for serving with jasmine rice and simple Asian-inspired greens.
splash light oil
4–6 skin on, bone in chicken thighs
3 large garlic cloves
thumb sized piece fresh ginger
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (see note)
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
3 tbsp water
fresh coriander (optional, for serving)
jasmine rice (optional, to serve)
pak choi (optional, to serve)
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (390 fahrenheit). Heat a splash of oil in a large oven proof frying pan or shallow casserole dish over a high heat. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides – this should take 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves, peel and matchstick the ginger, and whisk the remaining ingredients together to create the sauce.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a kitchen towel to drain away any excess fat. Pour away the fat left in the pan, but don’t wipe the pan clean. Return it to the heat and fry the garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes until soft and aromatic in the residual fat.
Add the sauce to the pan and cook until bubbling. Add the chicken back into the pan skin side down, then flip the pieces over so that the skins are well coated but facing upwards. Transfer the pan to the oven to roast for 35-40 minutes, basting the chicken with the sauce half way through.
If you can’t find or don’t have low sodium soy sauce halve the amount of fish sauce you use or the sauce will come out way too salty!
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One Pan Pescatarian: 100 Delicious Dinners – Veggie, Vegan, Fish
My second cookbook contains 100 delicious dinner recipes, all of which are either vegetarian, vegan or which celebrate fish and seafood - all cooked in either one pot or one pan.*