Chicken Thighs with Collard Greens and Black Eyed Peas

Braised Chicken Thighs with Collard Greens and Black Eyed Peas

As a precursor to an upcoming trip to Austin and the desire to recreate some childhood flavors I grew up with, I wanted to “go Southern” for a night. My grandparents were from Texas and braised greens and black eyed peas was a tradition they brought with them when they moved to Northern California. My grandmas recipe used a ham hock, but I’m replacing it with bacon and braising chicken in the same pot. Braising the chicken together with the greens also means you don’t need to use stock for the braising liquid. Good old water will do the trick. It’s the perfect, one pot dish that is simple to create and loaded with savory elements.

The Goods:

  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs with the skin on
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large bunch of collard greens roughly chopped
  • a 16 ounce can of black eyed peas, rinsed (or about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • salt, pepper
  • 4 pieces of bacon, cut into 1 inch squares
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil

The Steps:

  1. In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add bacon and render until close to crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel. Also, preheat the oven to 375F degrees.
  2. Rinse and pat dry chicken, season with garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Brown the chicken on both sides, until skin has rendered most of its fat. Remove and set on a plate.
  4. Add onions and carrots to dutch oven, cooking for 5-7 minutes until onions have softened. Add garlic and collard greens and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken, skin side up, back to the pot, along with any juices left on the plate. Add 3-4 cups of water into the pan, until the chicken is almost covered (the chicken skin should be above the water line). Season with salt and pepper, add bay leaf and cover.
  6. Braise in oven for 50 minutes. Remove lid and turn oven up to 450F for another 10 minutes to crisp the chicken skin (should be nice and brown) and reduce the liquid.
  7. Remove from oven and set on stove top. Remove chicken from the dutch oven and set aside on a plate.
  8. Add black eyed peas to the dutch oven and turn on the stove burner to medium high heat. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes or so until the liquid has reduced by 1/3-1/2. Taste and season if necessary.

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