How Cook Chicken in Your Le Creuset Braiser... the French way

I love the Le Creuset Braiser so much that I wrote a book of recipes for it. But you can use other braisers, too.

I love the Le Creuset Braiser so much that I wrote a book of recipes for it. But you can use other braisers, too.

Wondering how to cook chicken in a braiser? Read on for general braiser cooking techniques, plus some great chicken recipes for a braising pan. These chicken recipes are for all kinds of braisers, including Le Creuset, Staub, All-Clad, Lodge, and others.

As I’ve posted before, I’m a big fan of my Le Creuset Braiser. (If you don’t know what a braiser is, or why you might want to invest in one, let me tell you.) Of course, braising pans by All-Clad, Staub, Tromantina, Lodge, and other manufacturers also work for braising recipes.

French cooks use braising pans (which they call une cocotte basse) to create effortless, yet splendid dinners during the week. On the weekend, the braising pan becomes a great tool for slow aromatic cooking. The bonus part is that these guys are so pretty you can, and should, serve the food straight from them. So if you have one already it’s time to use your braising pan for great chicken recipes. These are some of my favorite recipes for chicken in the braiser. But before you get started, here are a few things to remember:

How to Cook Chicken in a Le Creuset Braiser (skip to the list below if you just want links to some great recipes):

• Choose meaty, bone-in chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, legs, leg-thigh portions)—this isn’t the time for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which can become stringy and dry when braised.

• Choose recipes that are truly braising recipes. How can you tell? Braising involves cooking the meat in a small amount of liquid in a vessel with a tight-fitting lid. The liquid will not cover the meat, but rather, the meat will be immersed in a shallow pool. When you cover the meat with the liquid, you are actually stewing (rather than braising) the meat. Stewed chicken, to me, has a diluted, tired taste. Braising chicken is better–using a small amount of liquid intensifies the flavor of the dish.

• Brown the chicken well. Appetizingly browned meat is part of the appeal of braising. Be sure to pat the chicken dry before the browning process and avoid overcrowding the pan. The great thing about a braiser is that the base is wider than for a Dutch oven; however, if it’s not wide enough to accommodate your chicken in one non-crowded layer, brown the chicken in batches. Overcrowded meat steams rather than browns.

• Keep the lid on. The braiser is great because the heavy, tight-fitting lid doesn’t allow much steam to escape and it’s the moist heat from the liquid that brings out the flavor and tenderness of the meat.

• Go low and slow: Check the dish once in a while to make sure the liquid is simmering, not boiling—slow cooking is the key to delectable results. Even the tight-fitting lids can let steam escape if the liquid is rapidly boiling, and you don’t want any extra liquid to escape.

ChickenMushroomsChervilBest

Chicken Recipe for Your Braiser: Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Chervil

• Stovetop or oven? Braising can be done on the stovetop or in the oven, but either way, the heat should be low and slow.

So, are you ready? Get some inspiration and get started. Here are great places to find great Chicken recipes for your braiser:

1. Braiser chicken recipes on this site:

Pot Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms and Chervil Sauce
Coq au Vin (the ultimate braised chicken recipe!)
Chicken Osso Bucco in the Braiser
• Étouffée de Poulet
Braised Chicken with Prosciutto and Olives in the Braiser
Chicken and Dumplings: In Your Braiser
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Basque-Style Chicken
Vermouth-Braised Chicken with Black Olives and Prosciutto

Looking for meat recipes for the Le Creuset Braiser? Check out this page.

Braiser Cookbook2. The Braiser Cookbook
Here are the chicken recipes you’ll find in this e-book ($2.95). You’ll also find recipes for beef, pork, lamb, and salmon.

• Vermouth-Braised Chicken with Garlic, Onions, Red Pepper, and Paprika
• Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
• Chicken with Mushrooms and Chervil Sauce
• Chicken Cooked in a Nest of Thyme
• Braised Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Shallots, and Rosemary
• Braised Chicken with Green Olives and Citrus
• Chicken and Brown Rice and Mushrooms

You’ll also find some terrific side dishes that go with so many braises, including French Noodles with Fresh Herbs, Round Potatoes with Bacon and Parsley, Baked Cabbage with Bacon and Apples, Cheese Risotto, Braised Root Vegetables, and Farro Pilaf with Date and Walnuts.

3. The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day
This book contains many of perfect-for-braising recipes, including these recipes for chicken.

• Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Braise Ce Soir
• Osso-Bucco-Style Chicken Thighs
• Poulet Bijoutière (a gorgeous braise with garlic, shallots, and pomegranate juice)
• Pot-Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms and Chervil
• Vermouth-Braised Chicken with Black Olives and Prosciutto
• Basque-Style Chicken

With over 250 recipes in the book, you’ll also find great beef, pork, and lamb recipes for your braiser, as well as dozens of recipes for serving a complete, true-to-France menu, including appetizers, soups and salads, side dishes, and desserts, plus great information on how to serve cheese the French way.

PS: If you found this post helpful, please consider purchasing something from Amazon.com through one of the ads or links on this site. I’ll get a small commission from your purchase, and it won’t add to your costs whatsoever.


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10 comments to How Cook Chicken in Your Le Creuset Braiser… the French way

  • Marc

    I recently purchased the Braiser Coookbook and I have already made some of the recipes. Great book, I highly recommend it!

  • Wini

    So glad you’re enjoying it, Marc! I’m looking forward to getting my braiser out now that autumn is approaching.

  • I just received a Le Creuset braiser and didn’t know what to cook in it. I found your website and purchased the braiser cookbook. I made the salmon dish tonight and it was amazing! And so easy! I’m looking forward to trying more recipes. Thanks!

    • Wini

      Melissa–thanks so much for your note. I wrote that cookbook for the very reason you state: I also got a Le Creuset Braiser a few years ago, and didn’t quite know what to do with it. Then, I started developing recipes….and made it into a book. Thanks again. I’m glad you liked the salmon dish–I think people skip that one because it doesn’t have a photo! They shouldn’t–it’s one of my faves.

  • Lane

    Based on the quality of recipes in your Bonne Femme cookbook, I decided to head out to the Le Creuset outlet yesterday and we purchased a lovely blue 3.5 qt brasier. When I got home I got your braiser cookbook for my iPad and I am ready to try this! We have a small kitchen with no counter space so cooking elaborate meals is frustrating. Your recipes are so simple and delicious. I told my husband about some of your braiser recipes and this morning he asked if I was going to make something tonight. So I think I will be putting my Thomas Keller split pea soup on hold for later this week and heading out this morning to get a chicken.

    When are you writing another cookbook? 🙂

    • Wini

      What a great comment to open first thing in the morning! You made my day.

      I hope you enjoy the braiser and braiser cooking as much as I do. ‘Tis the season, too!

      Thanks for writing.

  • Shay Miroite

    Hi there- I’m really excited about this book! I usually use a 5qt Dutch oven but have wanted a braided for years. I saw that Lodge has a deep skillet- sometimes called a chicken fryer- that comes in 3 and 5qt sizes. I wonder about whether that would be an economical and versatile option vs the $300 le creuset?

    Thanks!

    Shay

    • Wini

      Good question: Did you know that Lodge makes a braiser? They call it a covered cast-iron casserole, but it’s truly a braiser (I’ve tested one). Here’s my write-up:

      The deep skillet might work, but you have to make sure it has a very tight lid! It’s the tight lid that keeps the moist, steamy heat from escaping, and that moist heat is what makes braising do its tenderizing magic!

      I hope this helps!

      • Ken Seeber

        Speaking of, my Lodge braiser arrived from Amazon this morning. I’d been circling it for a while, but the price had spiked in the past few months. It finally dropped to $57, so I jumped on it.

        I have three sizes of Lodge’s enameled Dutch ovens and love them. I’m sure this braiser will join my list of favorite pans.

        Now all I have to do is some grocery shopping after work!

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