Monday, January 15, 2024

Coca Cola Braised Chicken


Ok, I have a question for you. 
Do you know what it is to BRAISE? 
Braising is a cooking technique where you fry something then cover it and slowly stew it in just a little bit of liquid. It makes for the MOST tender fall-off-the-bone meats you've ever tasted and I'm a huge fan, especially when it comes to chicken or ribs or tough cuts of beef. I love cooking things this way so much that I even have a wide shallow cast iron pot and it's called a braiser!
 And that brings me to this recipe! I happened to be watching videos from my favorite Youtubers, and I found this one from Miss Lori over at Whippoorwill Holler. It looked so good, I immediately went to the store to get some chicken thighs (which are my favorite) and made it that very night. It's absolutely DELICIOUS and it smells SO good while it's cooking. It turned out great! The chicken was so tender and OMG can we talk about the sauce???? I poured it over some mashed potatoes but it would be equally good over rice. It has such a great flavor!
 Now, I know you must be thinking that it's gotta be pretty sweet with all that coco cola and brown sugar, right? Trust me when I tell you... it's not overly sweet. It's just the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Looking at the ingredients, I originally thought it would be like a sweet and sticky BBQ sauce, but it's more savory than that. The paprika gives it an almost chili like flavor. It made me picture a cowboy cooking it over an open fire. So I ran with that idea and served it up with some potatoes and baked beans! 
Absolutely delicious. I will surely be making this one again!
So, Thanx to Miss Lori for another great recipe. This just might be my new favorite!

1 whole chicken, cut up into individual parts
2 tbs oil
2 cans Coke or Dr.Pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
2 to 3 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tbs smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped

In a wide heavy pan, heat your oil. Place your chicken pieces, skin side down, and brown on all sides. 
Remove chicken pieces to a side plate. Add remaining ingredients, making sure to scrape up any browned bits in the pan. Place chicken pieces back in the pan including any accumulated juices. Cover. Place in a 300ºF oven for a good hour or until chicken is tender and falling off the bone. Remove lid, place the pan back on the stove top, and cook over low for an extra 15-20 minutes or until the sauce reduces. 

Note: You can also do this in a slow cooker. Literally follow everything as directed, and then throw everything in the slow cooker and cook on high for about 6 hours. 
Another cooking option is just to add the chicken back to the pan as directed, cover it and let it simmer on the stove top over low heat for about an hour. Be sure to turn the chicken pieces over about every 15 minutes. 

Be sure to use regular Coke and not any variation of Diet Coke. It's the sugar that you want and it makes for a deeper more caramelized flavor. 
Miss Lori used a whole chicken, cut up into pieces, but I just used thighs. Why? Because I like them best!
This recipe is conducive to tweaking and making your own. Would you like it to be more savory? Add cumin and/or chili powder. Would you like some heat? Add minced jalapenos or crushed red pepper flakes or a few shakes of Tabasco or Sriracha. Would you like it to be more sweet and sticky? Add some more brown sugar or maple syrup or molasses. 
You do you!

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