This paleo recipe for Braised Chicken Thighs with Black Tea Blackberry Sauce is a great way to savor summer fruit.
Summer’s not over yet. It's winding down fast, but it's not yet gone.
Although I’m looking forward to fall like the dickens, I’m trying to make the fullest of summer produce before it’s gone. As in, stuff my face with any/every summer fruit/vegetable I can, as often as I can. At this point, summer produce even preempts chocolate for me (gasp).
Blackberries are the summery star of this dish; their earthy sweetness is offset beautifully by black tea and balsamic vinegar, and everything comes together beautifully in a rich-looking, mahogany-colored sauce. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs here, which I think offer a ton of flavor. If dark meat isn’t your thing though, by all means use boneless, skinless chicken breasts; just be sure to reduce the cooking time accordingly. You might be tempted to skip the mint here, but it comes highly recommended, providing a pop of fresh flavor that brightens up the dish.
Keep this whole meal paleo by serving the chicken along with a hefty side salad of balsamic-dressed field greens topped with fresh berries.
Want to know more about blackberries? Check out Cooking Light's Guide to Blackberries.
- 1¾ lbs (795 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (about 8 medium-sized thighs)
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- ¾ cup (180 ml) brewed black tea
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons best-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 6 oz (170 g) fresh blackberries
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Season the chicken on both sides with ½ teaspoon salt and the black pepper.
- Add the oil to a large skillet over medium-high to high heat. Add half the chicken and cook until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side, and then transfer it to a plate. Cook the remaining chicken the same way and then transfer it to a plate.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion. Cook until it’s starting to soften and brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tea and bay leaf, and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom. Stir in the vinegar, honey, and blackberries, and then add the chicken back to the skillet.
- Cover with foil and bake until the chicken is fully cooked, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and boil the sauce on the stovetop until thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- To serve, transfer the chicken to a serving platter, pour the sauce on top, and sprinkle on the mint.