Here is a tasty low carb recipe using chicken thighs. This recipe uses the pickle juice from a jar of dill pickles. If you really hate the idea of that, then simply substitute with more chicken broth. The vinegar flavor adds a pleasant piquancy to the dish that does not overwhelm.
Bone in chicken thighs is a budget alternative to chicken breasts. They are tastier and less likely to turn dry during cooking. When cooking, ensure the skin becomes brown and crispy. This crispy skin is delicious.
Also included with this recipe is a cauliflower rice side dish idea. Alternative side dishes include a simple green salad, low carb coleslaw or sauteed zucchini.
Pickle-Braised Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower “Rice”
The dill pickle juice adds a wonderful briny flavor to this recipe. If you find the finished flavor is too strong for your tastes, it can be tempered by adding additional chicken broth when making the pan sauce.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 55-60 minutes
2 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
8 bone-in chicken thighs with skin (approximately 3 lbs.)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ c. dill pickle juice
1½ c. organic chicken broth, divided
Salt, to taste (optional)
3 T. fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
1 medium head cauliflower, rinsed, tough leaves and stems removed
1 T. extra virgin olive oil.
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large 12” oven-proof skillet with deep sides, heat one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season the chicken thighs with freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Working in batches, place 4 chicken thighs in hot skillet, skin side down, and sear until the skin is golden brown and releases easily from the bottom of the skillet. Turn thighs and repeat on the other side.
Remove browned chicken thighs from skillet and keep warm. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to pan and repeat process with the remaining 4 chicken thighs.
Once all 8 chicken thighs are browned, return the first 4 thighs to the pan. Arrange thighs in a single layer and add the pickle juice and ½ cup chicken broth to the pan.
Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, then turn each thigh over with tongs and continue cooking another 30 minutes or until the meat is very tender. Once tender, remove chicken thighs from skillet to a separate platter. Cover and keep warm.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the cauliflower “rice” by breaking the cauliflower into florets. Pulse florets in a food processor or grate by hand with a rectangular box grater to create rice-sized pieces.
Once grated, dry cauliflower “rice” thoroughly by placing on paper towels or clean kitchen towels. Press lightly with another layer of paper towels or clean fabric to remove as much excess water as possible before cooking.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat before adding cauliflower. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, cover and steam for approximately 5 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
To make the pan sauce, add the remaining cup of chicken broth to the first skillet and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Scrape brown bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon and continue cooking until the sauce reduces by one half. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
Serve chicken thighs over a bed of cauliflower rice and drizzle with pan sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
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