How to CookBraisingChickenRoastingTips & Techniques

A Trick for Easier, Mess-Free Braising

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Braising starts like this: Pat meat dry, season liberally with salt, heat olive oil in a heavy pot or pan, and brown (on both sides, all sides) and often in batches if needed.

5 Unexpected Facts About Braising
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5 Unexpected Facts About Braising

Browning adds caramelization and depth of flavor, but it’s also fussy and messy. Sigh: Nothing’s ever that easy. That's why, when user Jordan Elphern-Waxman asked our Hotline if browning chicken for a braising recipe was actually necessary or even worth it, Amanda Hesser offered this nugget of wisdom:

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It should be fine without the browning. You'll lose a bit of the caramelization and depth of flavor that goes along with this from the browning, but in a recipe like this with so many other flavors, it'll be fine. However, another solution is to brown the chicken in the oven. Heat your oven to 450 and brown the pieces in pans in the oven, which will contain the spattering.

That last bit, about browning chicken (or other meat pre-braise) in the oven is a game-changer. Do as Amanda says for any braising recipe, adding the browned pieces of meat to the pot post-oven and proceeding with the recipe as directed.

Here are a few recipes to try the tip out with:

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Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato and Garlic

Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato and Garlic by Merrill Stubbs

Fragrant Braised Chicken

Fragrant Braised Chicken by gingerroot

Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shanks

Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shanks by ieatthepeach

Coffee-Infused Braised Lamb Shanks and Beans

Coffee-Infused Braised Lamb Shanks and Beans by Fairmount_market

Apple Cider Braised Chicken

Apple Cider Braised Chicken by Sarah | Wisconsin from Scratch

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine and Vanilla

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine and Vanilla by Phyllis Grant

Do you have any tips for easier braising? Let us know in the comments.