Milk and Spice Braised Chicken Thighs with Spicy Collard Greens

14 Oct

Ever since I made a coffee and orange brined chicken in milk back in May, I knew I wanted to experiment with the flavors of chicken and milk again.  Milk imparts a really lovely, sweet flavor to the flesh of the chicken.  Combined with the indescribable yumminess of star anise and a punch of pepper, this marinade and braising liquid works beautifully with the tender chicken thighs.  I love chicken thighs because they defrost quickly (about an hour in cold water), have a lot more flavor than boneless cuts of meat, and cook comparatively quickly.  This is a slower recipe due to the braising method, but is bursting with flavor and falling-off-the-bone tender.

These spicy collard greens are also super flavorful and easy.  Though they are very similar to the spicy crock pot collard greens I have previously posted, I thought they were worth mentioning because they are just as tasty and a little bit healthier due to the lack of bacon.

Milk and Spice Braised Chicken Thighs with Spicy Collard Greens

Milk and Spice Braised Chicken Thighs:

3 chicken thighs

2 cups milk

1/4 cup white wine

1 tbs. olive oil

2 pods star anise

1 tbs. whole black peppercorns

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 tsp. kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 tbs. butter

Combine all ingredients through kosher salt in a large zip lock bag.  Transfer to refrigerate and allow to marinate 6-8 hours, shaking bag occasionally.

Preheat oven to 325º.

Separate chicken thighs from the marinating liquid and pat dry with paper towels.  Season with freshly cracked black pepper.  Transfer marinating liquid and spices to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Allow to boil vigorously for 5-6 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in an oven proof pan or pot.  Add chicken, skin side down and, and cook 2-3 minutes until slightly golden brown.  Flip and cook the other side another 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.

Add the boiled marinating liquid.  The liquid should not submerge the chicken, but rather leave the skin exposed.

Cover and transfer to oven.  Cook about an hour until tender and falling off the bone, about 1 hour, or until internal temperature reaches 165º.

Spicy Collard Greens:

1 bag collard greens

2 cups homemade chicken stock

1/4 cup white wine

1 tbs. butter

1 tbs. crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cover and set to low.  Cook 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally, until tender.

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