Recipe: Braised Chicken Thighs in a Spicy Ragu, over Fried Polenta Crisps

I noticed while looking though the recipes I’ve published that there is only one chicken recipe. One of the most underused, delicious and inexpensive cuts of the chicken is the thighs. The meat is moist and flavourful, the skin is leaner than most of the rest of the chicken and the bones carry tonnes of flavour. This recipe is a take on the classic chicken cacciatore but with more of a rustic feeling to the ragu.


4 Chicken Thighs (bone in, skin on)

1 large red onion(Rough chopped)

2 cloves garlic(Diced)

2 large carrots(1/2 in chop)

2 stocks of celery(Finely chopped)

1 fennel bulb rough chopped

1 large can of diced tomatoes in their juice

1 cup dry white wine

Chicken Stock

1 tube of polenta(cut into 1/4 inch thick discs)

Sea Salt

Black pepper


Chili Flakes

Cayenne Pepper

Olive Oil

Directions: Set your oven at 350. In a dutch oven on medium heat add olive oil. Take your chicken thighs and coat them in sea salt, pepper, and paprika. Add your chicken thighs and sear them until the chicken skin is crisp. Remove the chicken and place on a paper towel. Add your onions and garlic and sweat. Then add your carrots, celery, fennel bulb, chili flakes and cayenne pepper and increase the heat to medium/high. Saute the mixture until the veggies begin to intensify in colour. Then deglaze with the wine. Allow the wine to reduce by half and add the tomato. Bring heat down to a simmer and return the chicken thighs to the dutch oven. Add the chicken stock, cover, put the dutch oven into your preheated over, and set the timer for 40 minutes.

In a deep sauce pan add a generous amount of grape seed oil and bring heat to medium/high. Take the polenta disks and fry them in the oil until they begin to turn golden brown and are hard when touched. Remove the polenta, towel off the excess oil and add salt and pepper.

When plating make a bed of polenta, and spoon the chicken thighs and ragu on top. Find some of that fennel frond that is sitting on your counter, garnish and enjoy.