Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Cozy up with a warm pot of braised chicken thighs with onions, carrots, and white wine gravy. The simple, flavorful, tender chicken is delicious over mashed potatoes, with rice, or alongside a loaf of crusty bread.

Close overhead shot of braised chicken thighs with mashed potatoes.
Table of Contents
  1. Why You’ll Love these Braised Chicken Thighs
  2. Braise Chicken Thighs for the Best Flavor and Texture
  3. The Best Liquid for Braising Chicken
  4. The Best Pan for Braised Chicken Thighs
  5. Ingredients
  6. How to Braise Chicken Thighs
  7. Serving Suggestions
  8. Preparation and Storage Tips
  9. Recipe Variations
  10. Tips for the Best Braised Chicken Thighs Recipe
  11. Braised Chicken Thighs with Gravy Recipe

If you’re looking for even more Dutch oven braising recipes, be sure to try this coq au vin, a cider-braised pork shoulder roast, this braised beef with red wine and tomatoes, these red wine braised beef short ribs, and a beer-braised pork loin roast, too!

Why You’ll Love these Braised Chicken Thighs

  • Flavorful. I adapted this recipe from our favorite coq au vin, which is a traditional French chicken stew. The hearty dish has rich, complex, earthy, aromatic flavors (thanks to the garlic, onion, and herbs), and features a more prominent taste of chicken and white wine. It’s total comfort food that’s perfect for a chilly Sunday supper!
  • Affordable. You don’t need any fancy, expensive, or hard-to-find ingredients for this meal. Budget-friendly bone-in chicken thighs become tender and juicy over the slow braising process. You can even swap out the white wine for extra broth or some apple cider if you like.
  • Versatile. Pair the perfectly-cooked chicken with just about any of your favorite sides. We love the meat and gravy over mashed potatoes, but rice, a loaf of crusty bread, biscuits, or cornbread would all be great as well. Add some bright, crisp, fresh greens with a Dijon vinaigrette to round out the meal.
Side shot of a pan of braised chicken thighs on a wooden table.

Braise Chicken Thighs for the Best Flavor and Texture

Braising (also called “pot roasting”) is a low and slow cooking method that begins with dry heat and ends with moist heat. First, the chicken is seared at a high temperature in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or cast iron pan to attain a caramelized crust (dry heat). Next, the pot is covered, and the chicken thighs finish cooking in liquid at a lower temperature (moist heat).

The slow cooking method yields moist, flavorful, tender chicken thighs. The browned bits and drippings from searing the meat at the beginning also contribute great flavor to the gravy.

Bone in skin on chicken thighs on a rimmed baking sheet.

The Best Liquid for Braising Chicken

You have plenty of options when it comes to braising liquid for chicken. Here, I’ve included a combination of chicken broth and dry white wine. For a more potent flavor, you can increase the ratio of wine to broth, using more wine and less broth. If you don’t want to use alcohol at all, just sub with extra broth.

Other good braising liquids include red wine (for that similar coq au vin flavor), apple cider, beer, or even water.

Browning garlic in a olive oil.

The Best Pan for Braised Chicken Thighs

A Dutch oven is a classic vessel for braised chicken; however, it’s not your only option. You can also use a deep cast iron skillet, or a pan designed specifically for this cooking technique called a “braiser.” If you’re in the market, you can check out our collection of the best braisers available, including those that I personally own and love.

The best braisers should have a wide base (like a skillet) and a domed, tight-fitting lid to allow food to be lightly browned and then stewed in a closed container. In this post, I’ve shown a 14-inch dual-handle Smithey cast iron skillet, which has a lid for trapping the moisture and heat in the oven. I like the wide surface of the 14-inch skillet, which allows me to sear 6 thighs at once so that I don’t have to work in batches. It’s also deep enough to hold plenty of gravy and other ingredients.

Overhead shot of browning chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for one of our favorite braised chicken thigh recipes. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs: the bone-in, skin-on meat stays tender and juicy over the low and slow braising process. You can substitute with a cut-up chicken if you prefer. I do not recommend boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts here.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Vegetable oil: infuses with garlic flavor and then sears the chicken. Olive oil is a perfectly fine substitute.
  • Garlic and onion: for savory flavor.
  • All-purpose flour: thickens the braising liquid so that you have a more gravy-like consistency at the end.
  • Chicken broth: the primary braising liquid. Use chicken stock for a more robust flavor.
  • White wine: adds extra flavor to the braising liquid. Use a dry white wine such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.
  • Apple cider vinegar: an acidic component that brightens up the dish.
  • Carrots: make an easy side at the end, and also flavor the chicken as it cooks.
  • Thyme and rosemary: for savory flavor.
Process shot showing how to braise chicken thighs.

How to Braise Chicken Thighs

Braising chicken thighs yields the most tender, succulent, flavorful meat! If you have a couple of hours on a quiet Sunday afternoon, then this is the recipe for you. It’s cozy, comfortable, and always a hit. You’ll find detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  • Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.
  • Brown the garlic heads in oil.
  • Brown the chicken in the garlic infused oil.
  • Cook the onion, and then add the flour.
  • Pour in the broth, wine, and vinegar.
  • Add the carrots, garlic heads, and herbs.
  • Bring to a simmer, remove from the heat, and return the chicken to the pan.
  • Cover with a lid and braise in the oven for 1 – 1¼ hours.
Square overhead shot of a pan of braised chicken thighs.

Serving Suggestions

Simple braised chicken thighs and rice is a classic combination, but here are some other sides that pair well with the tender, succulent meat:

Braised chicken thighs on a rustic wooden dinner table with salad and bread in the background.

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Make Ahead: Prepare the chicken thighs up to 1 day ahead, let the whole pot cool to room temperature, cover with the lid, and refrigerate overnight. Reheat the pot on the stovetop just before serving.
  • Freeze: Let the chicken thighs cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Once chilled, transfer the mixture to a resealable container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat: Transfer the chicken and gravy to a large skillet or Dutch oven. Reheat gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.
Overhead shot of braised chicken thighs in a bowl with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Recipe Variations

  • For an alcohol-free option, swap out the white wine for extra chicken broth or apple cider.
  • If you like a more prominent wine flavor, replace some of the chicken broth with extra white wine.
  • Add other vegetables to the pan, such as sliced mushrooms or celery.
  • Cook 6-8 chicken thighs, as many as you need. Depending on the size of your pan and the amount of chicken you’re using, you may need to brown the chicken in batches. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan or the chicken will steam instead of sear.
Horizontal side shot of a bowl of braised chicken thighs and gravy over mashed potatoes.

Tips for the Best Braised Chicken Thighs Recipe

  • Pat the chicken dry before seasoning and searing. Minimizing excess moisture helps the skin get crisp and brown in the pot.
  • Use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces rather than boneless, skinless thighs or breasts. The skin and bones add flavor to the dish and help to prevent the meat from drying out.
  • While you can use a whole cut-up chicken, I prefer chicken thighs in this dish. The pieces are a uniform size, so they cook in the same amount of time. The dark meat on the thighs stays moist and juicy during the braising process, while white meat breasts have a tendency to become dry when cooked for too long.
  • If the chicken isn’t crispy enough for your liking when it comes out of the oven, you can place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes while you simmer and thicken the gravy on the stovetop. This will help the skin crisp up nicely! Just keep a close eye on the meat because it can burn quickly under the broiler.
  • For a thicker gravy, simmer and reduce the braising liquid on the stovetop after the chicken is done. You can also thicken the gravy by whisking in some additional flour or a cornstarch slurry at the end.
  • You’ll know that the chicken thighs are done when they are no longer pink and the juices run clear. The meat should reach an internal temperature of 165°F when an instant read thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of a thigh (not touching the bone).
Overhead image of braised chicken thighs with gravy on a wooden table.

More Chicken Thigh Recipes to Try

Square overhead shot of a pan of braised chicken thighs.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Gravy

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 517 kcal
Tender and juicy braised chicken thighs cook slowly with carrots and onions in a white wine gravy.

Ingredients
  

  • 6-8 (5- to 7-ounce) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 heads garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup white wine (or sub with additional chicken broth)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and halved crosswise (if the carrots are more than about ¾ inch thick, cut them in half lengthwise as well)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme

Instructions

  • Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 325°F. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
    Bone in skin on chicken thighs on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or braiser (12 – 14 inches) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, cut-sides down, and cook until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the garlic to a plate.
    Browning garlic in a olive oil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. Depending on the size of your pan and on the size of your chicken, you may need to sear the chicken in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan.
    Overhead shot of browning chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet.
  • Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the broth, wine, and vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and breaking up any lumps. Add the carrots, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Bring to a simmer, and then remove from the heat. Nestle the chicken and any accumulated juices skin-side up in the pot. The skin should be above the surface of the liquid. Cover with a lid and transfer the pot to the oven. Braise for 1 to 1¼ hours, until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender.
    Process shot showing how to braise chicken thighs.
  • If the chicken isn’t crispy enough for your liking when it comes out of the oven, you can place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. This will help the skin crisp up nicely! Just keep a close eye on the meat because it can burn quickly under the broiler.
    Close up side shot of braised chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet.
  • If you’d like to thicken the pan sauce slightly, just simmer it on the stovetop (uncovered) for 10-15 minutes, or until it reaches the desired consistency. Discard the garlic. Serve the chicken with the carrots and garnish with chopped fresh herbs.
    Close overhead shot of braised chicken thighs with mashed potatoes.

Notes

  • Pat the chicken dry before seasoning and searing. Minimizing excess moisture helps the skin get crisp and brown in the pot.
  • Use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces rather than boneless, skinless thighs or breasts. The skin and bones add flavor to the dish and help to prevent the meat from drying out.
  • While you can use a whole cut-up chicken, I prefer chicken thighs in this dish. The pieces are a uniform size, so they cook in the same amount of time. The dark meat on the thighs stays moist and juicy during the braising process, while white meat breasts have a tendency to become dry when cooked for too long.
  • If the chicken isn’t crispy enough for your liking when it comes out of the oven, you can place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes while you simmer and thicken the gravy on the stovetop. This will help the skin crisp up nicely! Just keep a close eye on the meat because it can burn quickly under the broiler.
  • For a thicker gravy, simmer and reduce the braising liquid on the stovetop after the chicken is done. You can also thicken the gravy by whisking in some additional flour or a cornstarch slurry at the end.
  • You’ll know that the chicken thighs are done when they are no longer pink and the juices run clear. The meat should reach an internal temperature of 165°F when an instant read thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of a thigh (not touching the bone).

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the recipeCalories: 517kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 32gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 179mgSodium: 492mgPotassium: 818mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 19185IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: braise chicken thighs, braised chicken thigh, braised chicken thighs, braised chicken thighs recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.