I made this Crispy Chicken with Brussel Sprouts in cooking class. I loved making this dish in the Staub Cast-Iron Braiser so much, I had to buy one. As you know cast-iron pans can last a lifetime and sometimes get passed from one generation to the next. Why are cast-iron pans loved by cooks?
1. It heats evenly and consistently
2. Relatively inexpensive compared to other cookware and lasts
3. If seasoned, will be stick resistance just like high-end nonstick pans
4. They can go from induction or stovetop right to the oven
5. Practically indestructible, just don’t drop it on a very hard surface. Don’t cook with acidic foods, as the chemical reaction causes rust. (Unless it’s enameled.)
6. If the finish gets ruined, just scrub and reseason.
How to Season:
If you have a pan that has never been seasoned or in need of reseasoning, just coat it in oil, bake it upside down on a foil-lined baking sheet, in a 400F oven for an hour. Sometimes the pan just needs to be refreshed. In that case, heat the pan on the stovetop for 10 minutes on medium-low heat. While the pan is hot, carefully coat it with a thin layer of oil, using a paper towel or a silicone basting brush. Let the pan cool. Remove any excess oil and store for a later use.
Since this Staub Cast-Iron Braiser is an enameled cast iron it is coated with a thin layer of porcelain, making it rustproof and non-reactive to acidic foods. Enameled cookware doesn’t have to be seasoned and it is durable and easy to clean and maintain.
One note: cast-iron heats up quickly and the handles get Hot! Don’t forget to use a hand towel, pot holder or silicone handle sleeves.
If I make this again, I’m going to change it up a bit, substituting the Brussel sprouts for Klondike potatoes and the thighs for some breasts with skin to keep them crispy, bone-in would be optional. I might parboil the the potatoes, because they take longer to cook than Brussel sprouts. Would you substitute anything? If so, what? Serves 4
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 chicken thighs, bone-in skin-on, about 1 1/2 lbs
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
4 ounces of pancetta, diced into 1/2” pieces
1 medium yellow onion, diced into 1/4” pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
8 oz hard apple cider
1 lb Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 375F
In your Staub Cast-Iron Braiser set over med/high heat, add your oil. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, add the chicken skin side down and cook until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Turn over cook an additional minute, then remove to a plate and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the pancetta and cook until the fat has rendered out and the pancetta is crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Pour out enough fat to just leave 2 tablespoons then add your Brussel sprouts and onions. DeGlaze the skillet with the hard apple cider (smells wonderful) scraping the fond (brown bits) on the bottom of the skillet. Nestle the chicken back into the skillet, skin side up. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken internal temperature reaches 165F and the Brussel sprouts are fork tender.
Return to the stove top , add the cream and thyme. Let simmer about 5 minutes to thicken sauce. To serve: ladle sauce over chicken and sprinkle on the crispy pancetta. Yum Yum!