Art Smith’s Healthy Comforts Cookbook/Garlic-Braised Chicken Thighs with Quinoa

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I like to braise chicken thighs because they, unlike the drier breasts, stay moist during the relatively long simmer. Served on top of quinoa with the succulent braising vegetables and juices, they make a mouth-watering meal.

Serves 4

For the chicken:

1 tablespoon canola oil

8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs

8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or water

2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 lemon, cut into eighths

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the quinoa:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

To prepare the chicken thighs:

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the chicken, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate. Add the garlic and onion to the pot and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken thighs to the pot. Add the stock or water, bell peppers, lemon, and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce to a slow simmer and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Cook for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To prepare the quinoa:

Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan and cover with 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Continue to cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the quinoa is puffed and you see a little white ring release from the quinoa germ. Remove from the heat and fold in the olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Assembly

Divide the quinoa among 4 shallow serving bowls and top with two chicken thighs and some of the braising vegetables. Spoon any liquid that remains in the pot over the chicken.

Per Serving

491 calories  *  22 g fat  *  4 g sat fat  *  99 mg chol  *  118 mg sodium  *  40 g carb  *  4 g sugar  * 6 g fiber  * 36 g protein  *  80 mg calcium