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Braised Chicken Thighs with Chicken Skin Gremolata

Photo: Cary Norton; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Hands-on time 35 mins
Total time 1 hr, 15 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: 1 thigh, about 1/4 cup sauce, and about 3 tablespoons gremolata)

At Cooking Light we sometimes remove the skin from rich chicken thighs to reduce the saturated fat, but I realized last February that I could roast that very same skin till it's crisp, rendering out much of the fat and capturing lots of chickeny goodness for a wintry braised main dish. The gremolata idea came from my love of flat-leaf parsley: I never use the regular stuff anymore. Start checking the skins after 30 minutes in 5-minute intervals; they can quickly go from perfectly crisp to burned.


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup dried sour cherries
  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • Dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Madeira wine or oloroso sherry
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Nutrition Information

  • calories 343
  • fat 15.7 g
  • satfat 3.9 g
  • monofat 7.5 g
  • polyfat 2.8 g
  • protein 30 g
  • carbohydrate 15 g
  • fiber 4 g
  • cholesterol 151 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 422 mg
  • calcium 46 mg

How to Make It

  1. Pour 1 cup boiling water over dried cherries in a bowl; let stand 30 minutes. Drain.

  2. Preheat oven to 375°.

  3. Remove skin from chicken. Place the skin flat on a parchment-lined jelly-roll pan. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes, making sure skin gets brown and thoroughly crisp but not burned. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with dash of salt and dash of pepper. Finely chop; set aside.

  4. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to pan, meaty side down; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and sliced garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until reduced by half. Return chicken to pan; add cherries, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stock, thyme, and vinegar. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Increase heat to medium-high; cook sauce 2 minutes or until slightly thickened (about 1 cup).

  5. Combine skin, rind, parsley, and minced garlic in a small bowl. Serve chicken with sauce; top with gremolata.

Cook's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit