Braised Chicken

Braised chicken recipe on a serving platter

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 105 mins
Cool: 15 mins
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 1 chicken
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1018 Calories
55g Fat
8g Carbs
108g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1018
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 55g 71%
Saturated Fat 16g 78%
Cholesterol 343mg 114%
Sodium 611mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 108g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 78mg 6%
Iron 5mg 30%
Potassium 1073mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you are looking for the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it chicken dish, braising is your answer. Braising is a cooking method that turns tough meats tender and succulent by baking or simmering meat in a little liquid. The key to success is low and slow—a low flame or not-too-hot oven and an hour or more of your time.

For this recipe, you can buy prepackaged chicken that's already cut up, but make sure the backbone is in there (sometimes it isn't). The back will add lots of flavor to the broth and the chicken itself. Most butchers will cut up a whole chicken if you ask, and you can request they include the backbone.

Once you assemble all of your ingredients and put the chicken in the oven, you can relax or prepare the rest of your meal while your main dish bakes. Braised chicken is delicious with starchy sides such as rice or mashed potatoes. A green vegetable on the side is nice, too, such as broccoli.

"You really can’t go wrong with this braised chicken recipe. The chicken comes out moist and tender after an hour in the oven and the flavors are homey and comforting. There's a lot of brothy braising liquid, which is delicious spooned over a side dish of rice or noodles." —Young Sun Huh

Braised chicken on a white plate
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) whole chicken, cut up, including the backbone

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 4 slices bacon, about 1/4 pound, diced

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped leek, white and light green parts only

  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 2 cups chicken stock, or water

  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 1 bay leaf

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and and heat to 300 F.

    Ingredients for braised chicken gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. Dry the chicken well with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.

    Chicken seasoned with salt and pepper on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until it's crispy and the fat has rendered out, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

    Bacon cooking in a Dutch oven with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Add 1 breast (skin-side down), 1 thigh (skin-side down), 1 drumstick, and 1 wing. Brown the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes, then remove to a platter and repeat with the other 4 pieces. Finally, brown the backbone, skin-side down, and remove.

    Chicken searing in the Dutch oven before braising

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. Add the onion, leek, and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and boil, scraping any roasted bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomato paste.

    Onion, leek, garlic added to the Dutch oven

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. Return the chicken (including the backbone) and bacon to the pot. Add the chicken stock or water. Season with salt, if needed. Add the rosemary and bay leaf and bring to a boil.

    Chicken, bacon, rosemary, braising liquid and bay leaf in a Dutch oven

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  7. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for one hour, or until an instant-read thermometer registers at least 165 F in the thickest part of the chicken away from the bone. Remove the lid and let the chicken cool in the pot for 15 minutes before serving.

    Braised chicken in a Dutch oven with the lid off

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack


While we recommend braising chicken in chicken stock, you can use water instead. The chicken will still be flavorful. Just make sure you season the water with enough kosher salt that you can taste it.

Recipe Variations

  • Try pancetta instead of bacon.
  • Add some crushed red pepper for a little heat.
  • If you want a more reduced sauce, you can uncover the Dutch oven in the last 20 minutes of cooking and position the chicken pieces skin-side up to get more color.

How to Store and Freeze Braised Chicken

  • Braised chicken will keep well covered in the refrigerator for three to five days. R eheat in the Dutch oven or a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Freeze leftover braised chicken in zip-close bags or in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

Should braising liquid cover the meat?

If the meat is covered by liquid, you'd be poaching the chicken instead of braising it. Instead, you need enough liquid so that the meat is surrounded but not submerged; think of it as barely skimming the meat's surface. As your braise, the liquid will reduce, resulting in a sauce with a highly concentrated flavor.