The season is totally finished playing with us (at least on the east coast). The weather forecast indicates that gone are the shockingly mild days and the deceptively warm temperatures. In other words, it’s about to get cold and that means it’s time to make some soul-warming comfort food. I love this recipe so much because it looks super-complicated and involved but it doesn’t require much labor. Seriously, searing the chicken thighs is probably the most labor-intensive part.
6 boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), trimmed of any excess skin or fat
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 cup whole pitted dates
3 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Steamed white rice or polenta, for serving
- Season the chicken all over with the salt and pepper. Place the 1/2 cup flour in a small bowl, and quickly dredge both sides of each thigh in the flour, shaking to remove any excess. Set aside. Soften dates in hot or boiling water for about 10 minutes; drain and slice lengthwise. Set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a 10- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter, and when it has melted, place the chicken, skin side down, in the pan. Brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the pan, and when it has melted, add the onions, garlic, rosemary, remaining 1/2 teaspoon then whisk in the chicken stock and balsamic vinegar and increase the heat to high. Return the chicken, skin side down, to the pan, and bring the stock to a boil. Add the dates. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan with a heavy, tight-fitting lid, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Uncover the pan, stir the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching, and turn the chicken skin side up. Cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes longer.
Stir the bottom of the pan a final time, re-cover, and simmer for 20 more minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Add the parsley to the sauce, stir to combine, and then spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve over steamed white rice or polenta.