Thursday, July 26, 2012

brie-stuffed chicken with caramelized onions and thyme

This meal was born out of pure necessity. Coming home to enjoy a few days of my vacation at my parents' house, I quickly realized that my mother had not had time to go grocery shopping after her most recent business trip (read: the refrigerator and pantry were virtually empty). Soooo, armed with little more than some frozen chicken thighs, a bag of onions, a packet of fresh thyme, a few ounces of brie, and an opened bottle of white wine, I set about trying to make something worthy of being called "dinner" before she came home from work. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the finished product: pan-seared chicken thighs stuffed with tangy, creamy brie, capped with a stately top hat of thyme-infused caramelized onions, and drizzled with a light wine sauce. Mission accomplished.

Brie-Stuffed Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Thyme

4 chicken thighs
2 medium onions, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 ounces brie
1/2 cup dry white wine

In a large bowl, prepare a brining solution by mixing 1/4 cup of salt in 1 1/2 quarts cold water until dissolved. Add the chicken thighs and allow to soak for 30-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until softened and lightly browned, 12-15 minutes. Add the thyme and stir 30 seconds longer. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove the chicken from the brine solution and rinse in fresh water. Pat dry. Carefully remove the skin and any excess fat using a sharp knife. Then cut a large pocket in the meat on one side of each thigh, leaving the other three sides fully intact. Place a half ounce of brie in each pocket.

Heat a light drizzle of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully add the thighs bone-side up, in batches if necessary, making sure to not over-crowd the pan. Allow them to sear, undisturbed, until nicely browned, 1-2 minutes. Flip, making them bone-side down, and repeat. 

Carefully pour the wine into the pan. Dividing the mixture evenly among the thighs, spoon a mound of caramelized onions on top of each piece. 

Place the skillet in the oven until the chicken is fully cooked, 20-30 minutes. If the onions start to get too dark, loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil. 

Plate and drizzle with the white wine pan sauce.

An Ashleigh original :)


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