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Braised Chicken

Here is another dish that takes care of itself in the oven after a minimal prep, with the same reliably tender results, thanks to the virtues of the ‘braise,’ a technique that is a top contender for the ‘Cook’s Best Friend’ title. The layers of flavor in this dish work together beautifully, developed by the use of a sweet/salty marinade, the addition of shallot and ginger to the braising liquid, and the inclusion of tender baby lima beans and green onion to finish on a fresh green note. Really, nothing more than steamed rice is needed to round out this savoury supper.

Braised Chicken

2 lbs. dark meat chicken pieces
2 tbs. soy sauce
4 tbs. Japanese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tbs. caster (superfine white) sugar
1 tsp. salt
7 oz. frozen baby Lima beans (1½ cups)
2 tbs. olive oil
3½ fl. oz. chicken stock
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
3 green onions, sliced

Put the chicken pieces in a bowl with the soy sauce, wine, sugar, and salt. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the baby Lima beans in salted water for 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside. Heat the oven to 400°F.

Heat the oil in a large, heatproof casserole dish. Lift the chicken out of the marinade and brown, a few pieces at a time. Watch them carefully, as they will brown quickly because of the sugar in the marinade. Set aside each batch as you cook the rest.

Once all the chicken is browned, keep the dish on the heat, add the stock, and sizzle for 30 seconds. Toss in the shallots and ginger, then return the chicken to the pot. Cover and place in the oven for 45 minutes. Add the Lima beans and green onion. Serve with steamed rice, if you like.

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