This was an ornery one to photograph, but let me tell you, it may just be the best thing I’ve made this year. Braised chicken thighs in a creamy creole mustard sauce with carrots, celery, raisins, onions and oh-so wonderful spices. This recipe was inspired by a memory from Brigtsen’s Restaurant in New Orleans.
I always find myself making Cajun and Creole dishes this time of year. I blame it on an October trip we took to New Orleans a few years ago, which ended up to be an incredible culinary event. We spent five glorious days sampling specialities like Central Market muffalettas, beignets at Cafe du Monde, turtle soup at a local joint off Bourbon Street and dining at a few of the most famous restaurants in the city. All were remarkable and left us with memories that will last us for the rest of our lives.
We loved New Orleans so much that we had planned a return visit the next Fall. The plan was to take in some of the less famous spots and substitute with restaurants that the local crowd frequented. We’ve never made it back because that next year Katrina hit.
One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to Brigtsen’s restaurant. They’ve turned an old house into one of the finest restaurants in New Orleans. Chef Frank Brigtsen’s food is first class, five star incredible and the dining experience leaves you with a cozy, comfort food, home cooked meal feel…in a very upscale way. Thinking back about that evening, the food, the charming staff that treated us like family, I wanted to recreate the experience at home.
Searching the internet, I combined a couple recipe ideas that landed on our table as this.
- 8 chicken thighs
- 1¾ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 celery stalks with a few leaves, sliced into ¼-inch pieces, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery leaves
- 1 large sweet onion thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 rosemary sprig
- ½ t. thyme
- 1 T. whole grain mustard
- 1 T. country style whole grain mustard with horseradish
- (or 2 tablespoons Creole mustard)
- ⅛ t. Pure Orange Oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Season both sides of the chicken with 1½ teaspoons of salt and the black pepper. In a large, deep, oven-safe skillet or pot set over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken thighs, skin-side down, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the skin is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Use a metal spatula to turn the thighs over and cook until the surface of the meat pales, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the chicken skin-side up to a plate.
- To the skillet, add the celery, onion, garlic, raisins, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the mustard, then pour in the wine and orange oil.
- Cook until the wine is slightly reduced, 3 to 5 minutes, then add the broth and nestle the chicken thighs skin-side up into the skillet.
- Cover the pan and braise the chicken in the oven for 25 minutes. Uncover and cook 20 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a platter and set aside.
- Set the skillet over medium-high heat and add the cream. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf, rosemary, and stir in the chopped celery leaves and parsley leaves. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.
Braised Chicken in Creole Orange Mustard Sauce…It’s What’s for Dinner.