I'm very partial to braised dishes. I love the depth of flavour that develops as well as the ease of making a simple meal.
In this case boneless and skinless chicken thighs are cooked in a balsamic vinegar and red wine mixture. It still surprises me at times how delicious something can turn out, with so little effort.
This economical dish reheats really well. You might consider making extra for leftovers.
1 heaping tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
2 lbs boneless and skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup shallots, minced
1 celery stalk, chopped or diced fine
1 carrot, chopped or diced fine
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp Harissa or 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
polenta for serving, if desired
Combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Add the chicken and toss until the thighs are evenly coated. Discard the remaining cornstarch mixture.
Heat the oil in a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid. Fry the chicken pieces until browned on one side, then remove them to a plate.
Lower the heat and add the garlic and shallots. Stir and scrape up the browned chicken bits as you cook the garlic and onion mixture for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chopped celery and carrot. Cook, stirring from time to time for about 5 minutes. Adjust the heat if needed to keep the mixture from burning.
Pour in the vinegar and wine. Stir in the honey and Harissa. Add the chicken pieces, keeping them all in one layer; fried sides up. Set the flame to the lowest setting and cover the pot. Cook for about 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and turn the chicken pieces over. Increase the heat a small amount and cook for another 10 minutes (lid off).
Remove the chicken to a warmed dish and increase the flame. Cook until the liquid has reduced by about one third.
Serve over polenta, if desired. Spoon the sauce over the chicken