Cook's Illustrated

How to Braise Chicken Parts

Remember the Corn Flakes slogan that Kellogg’s ran in the late ’80s, “Taste them again for the first time”? This braising story is my culinary equivalent of that campaign—a pitch to rediscover an old classic. I recently spent some time reacquainting myself with the basic tenets of braising chicken parts—both white and dark meat—and learned several ways to make a good dish a whole lot better.

Before we dig in, a refresher on what exactly braising is and why it’s an ideal way to cook chicken: It involves browning food and then partially covering it with liquid in a lidded pot and simmering it gently until the meat is tender. As it simmers, the cooking liquid takes on the meat’s flavor to create a luxurious, deeply savory sauce that you spoon over the meat.

Chicken is great for braising. It’s got skin that renders loads of fat and collagen,

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