You can revere Tanya Holland for her signature fried chicken and waffles from the Brown Sugar Kitchen era. But this dish, from the Oakland chef’s upcoming cookbook, “Tanya Holland’s California Soul: Recipes From a Culinary Journey West” (Ten Speed Press, $35), will give you a new appreciation for the prowess of poultry. Dutch.
These chicken thighs, braised until the meat is falling off the bone, are served over a bowl of smoked white beans simmered in homemade barbecue sauce. In a pinch? Use store-bought sauce diluted with half a cup of chicken broth. Holland agrees.
The highly anticipated book “Tanya Holland’s California Soul” will be released on October 25.
Braised Chicken Thighs with White Beans and Grilled Green Onions
For 4 people
BBQ SAUCE INGREDIENTS
½ cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or beer
1 cup diced or crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses (optional)
1 tablespoon coarse or brown mustard
4 to 6 bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 slices of bacon
2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as avocado or grapeseed, as needed
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small bell pepper (green, red or a mixture), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes or ½ jalapeño pepper, minced
3 cups cooked white beans (from 1 heaping cup of dried beans or two 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
1/3 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or beer
2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.
To make BBQ sauce: In a small saucepan, combine chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, molasses and mustard and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Put aside.
In a 12-inch ovenproof skillet with a lid (cast iron is great) over medium heat, fry the bacon until the fat melts and the bacon is crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, leaving the fat in the pan. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat (or add oil to have about 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan). Increase the heat to medium-high.
Add the chicken, skin side down, and sear until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Pour in all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, bell pepper, celery and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Stir in beans and reserved bacon. Reserve ½ cup barbecue sauce and add the rest to the bean mixture with the chicken broth. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up. Cover the dish and transfer to the oven. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions and parsley and serve with the reserved barbecue sauce on the side.
— Tanya Holland, “Tanya Holland’s California Soul: Recipes from a Culinary Journey to the West” (Ten Speed Press, $35)