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Pastured Chicken Thighs with Smoked Paprika Cream Sauce

Flavorful chicken thighs in a creamy, smoky, velvety sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs 2-3 pounds total
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock low-sodium if store bought. See note.
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°
    In an oven proof skillet, preferable stainless steel though cast iron will also work, heat butter over medium-high heat until it begins to foam. Place chicken thighs in the pan skin side down.
  • When the skin on the thighs has browned and started to crisp, about 5 minutes, though it will vary depending on heat and type of pan used, flip them over, then put the skillet into the oven. Bake until thighs reach an internal temperature of 175°, about 30-45 minutes.
  • Put thighs on a plate and cover loosely with foil. Place skillet back on the stove top over medium heat. Slowly add flour, whisking constantly, until smooth, then continuing to whisk, slowly add in broth. Bring to a boil and reduce, stirring regularly to prevent scorching, until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of gravy. Reduce heat to low, add cream and paprika, and cook just until hot.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. When serving chicken thighs, pour sauce over each individually. You'll probably have a little extra sauce, which is fine, because it's also great on greens, rice, or whatever else your serving alongside the chicken.

Notes

•If using store bought broth, make sure it's low sodium. The stock reduces significantly while cooking, which will concentrate the salt content. It's easy to add a pinch at the end if the sauce isn't salty enough, but there's no way to salvage a too salty sauce.
•If you like, feel free to lightly salt the thighs up to a day ahead of time.
•My feeling is that a little smoked paprika goes a long way, but if you want a more intense flavor, feel free to double the amount or to sprinkle extra on top while serving.