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Braised Chicken Thighs with Sauerkraut

Yield 4
Sauerkraut simmered with vegetables, apple, and juniper berries is a perfect match for bacon and chicken thighs. The robust combination of flavors makes this a great hearty winter dish.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 8 chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds in all)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 3 cups drained and rinsed sauerkraut (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 10 juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 1 bay leaf

How to Make It

  1. In a large deep frying pan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.

  2. Season the chicken thighs with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper and add to the pan in batches if necessary. Cook, turning, until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.

  3. Add the onion, carrot, and apple to the pan. Cook over moderate heat, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the sauerkraut, bacon, broth, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the mustard, juniper berries, and bay leaf. Arrange the chicken in an even layer on top. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and cook, covered, until the chicken is just done, about 25 minutes.

  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and discard the bay leaf. If too much liquid remains in the pan, raise the heat to moderately high and cook until slightly thickened. Serve the sauerkraut topped with the chicken.

  5. Wine Recommendation: For a white wine that will contrast nicely with the sauerkraut, look for a soft, full-flavored, and unoaked white. Gewürztraminer or pinot gris from Alsace in France are ideal choices.

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