Recipe Roundup: Easy Summer Braise
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A Summer-Friendly Braise
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (either four small breasts, or two cut in half)
freshly cracked black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, peeled & smashed
1 cup dry white wine
1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 two-inch parmesan rind
1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1½ cup dried farro
fresh parmesan to grate over the top
In a dutch over or a large, wide, heavy bottomed skillet, preheat olive oil (about three turns of the pan) over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and generously season with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, sear the chicken salty-side-down. Cook until golden brown and easily releases from the pan, about five minutes. Season the second side, flip and brown, about four more minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the garlic cloves to the pan. Stir until fragrant, then add the wine. Use a wooden spoon to breakup any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until reduced by half, then add the tomatoes, stock and parmesan rind. Stir to combine and put the chicken back into the pan. It should be just barely covered by the braising liquid.
Bring to a bubble, and then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for one hour, stirring and turning the chicken occasionally. Then remove the lid, increase the heat to medium low to keep the simmer going and cook an additional 10-15 minutes. The chicken should be fall-apart tender, and the sauce reduced and nicely thickened.
Meanwhile, cook the farro per the package instructions. There are all different kinds of farro, and they all have different cooking times, so start yours so that it will finish at the same time as the chicken. When the farro is done, season it with salt, pepper and olive oil.
When everything is just about ready, about five minutes before the end of the cook time, stir the fresh tomatoes and just over half of the basil (leave the rest for garnish) into the chicken braise. Let everything bubble together for those last few minutes.
To plate, set the farro down first. Top with chicken, and spoon cooked and raw tomatoes with the sauce over everything. Garnish with fresh basil and grated parmesan.