May 10, 2016

Braised Lemongrass Chicken Thighs

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
This recipe uses bright lemongrass flavors and fuses them with savory flavors of onion, garlic and fish sauce.

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Braised Lemongrass Chicken Thighs

Every cook should have a good chicken dish in their repertoire. They are easy to throw together for dinner parties or to reheat for weeknight dinners. This recipe uses a French method of cooking combined with Asian-inspired flavors of lemongrass, ginger and fish sauce. This recipe uses bright lemongrass flavors and fuses them with savory flavors of onion, garlic and fish sauce.

Why You Should Braise Meat

A braise, cooking meat at a low heat over an extended period of time, is a good way to break down tougher cuts of meat (which also tend to be cheaper). As a result it transforms chicken thighs into a tender and succulent entrée. This method of cooking is typically done in a Dutch oven – the heavy lid keeps steam/ liquid from escaping and evaporating.

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Chicken thighs – Chicken thighs are the best cut for braising because they release so much flavor and become extremely tender. They are also one of the more inexpensive cuts of chicken so it’s the perfect choice when cooking for a large number of people.
  • Lemongrass – Lemongrass adds a bright, lemony flavor to this chicken. Fresh lemongrass is best for this recipe since it has a more complex flavor. Pre-packaged paste or dried lemongrass can be substituted if needed. Only the bottom yellow part of the lemongrass stalk is used in cooking, the top part is typically much too tough. In this recipe the lemongrass stalks are halved and smashed to infuse the broth with flavor.
  • Fish sauce – I love the funky umami flavor fish sauce adds to any dish. It’s a great way to enhance the flavor of curries or even chicken wings. The flavor comes from a process of fermenting fish over a long period of time. I add it to this braise recipe just before serving.
  • Ginger – To easily peel ginger, use the tip of a spoon to carefully peel away the skin.
braised skin on, bone in chicken thighs in a lemongrass infused broth in a staub dutch oven

How to Make Braised Lemongrass Chicken Thighs

  1. Heat oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Season the chicken. Pat the chicken thighs dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a 4½ – quart Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the sugar to the oil, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Prep the lemongrass. Cut the lemongrass stalks in half lengthwise and then smash them using the flat side of a chef knife.
  4. Sear the chicken thighs. Add the chicken skin side down in a single layer and sauté until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes each side. The chicken skin should be slightly caramelized. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  5. Sauté the aromatics. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Then add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
  6. Braise the chicken. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up, and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and bake for 1 hour, until meat is fork tender. Remove the pot from the oven.
  7. Season the broth. Discard the lemongrass. Stir in the fish sauce and lemon juice then season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Serve. Serve the lemongrass chicken with a side of rice and topped with the remaining braising liquid.
braised chicken thighs over white rice with roasted broccolini in a tan stone shallow dish

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this lemongrass chicken recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Braised Lemongrass Chicken Thighs

lemongrass braised chicken thighs on a bed of rice with a side of roasted broccolini
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 lemongrass stalks
  • ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  • Pat the chicken thighs dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a 4½ – quart Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the sugar to the oil, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Cut the lemongrass stalks in half lengthwise and then smash them using the flat side of a chef knife.
  • Add the chicken skin side down in a single layer and sauté until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes each side. The chicken skin should be slightly caramelized. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  • Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Then add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
  • Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up, and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and bake for 1 hour, until meat is fork tender. Remove the pot from the oven.
  • Discard the lemongrass. Stir in the fish sauce and lemon juice then season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve the chicken with a side of rice and topped with the remaining braising liquid.

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