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Braised Chicken and Pears

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We love pears.  Pears and apples are the fruits of fall.  Since three out of five people in our house are sensitive to apples, we often use them in place of apples in recipes.  I make pear sauce for snacks and sometimes to top pancakes.  Pears in porridge; pear pie at Thanksgiving.  Tonight pears became part of dinner.

When I’ve made this meal in the past, I’ve always used thyme.  Today was rainy and the sage looked so happy in the garden that I decided to try it this way instead.  This resulted in a delicious autumn dinner.

Braised Chicken and Pears
Braised Chicken and Pears

4 Chicken thigh quarters, salted (or one whole cut up chicken)
4 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 pears, cored and diced (any variety or mixed, I used 2 d’Anjou and 2 red)
3 Tbsp minced fresh sage ( about 1 Tbsp dry) [or thyme, if you prefer]
1 1/2 cup broth
1 1/2 cup water
Salt to taste

3 cups rice, prepared with package instructions.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In an enameled cast iron pot (whatever pot you use should be oven safe), heat oil over medium-high heat.  Brown the chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side until nicely browned.  Remove from pot and reserve on a plate.

Add the garlic, onions, carrots, and celery to the pot with a generous pinch of salt.  Saute for about five minutes, then layer pears over the vegetables and sprinkle with sage.  Pour broth and water over the pears and vegetables.   Place the chicken on top of the pile.  Be sure that the chicken sits mostly above the liquid.  If you don’t the skin of the chicken will not stay crispy.

Cover with a lid, then bring to a boil.  Remove lid; place on oven.  Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until the meat near the bones is completely cooked and juices run clear.

Serve over rice.  We like to serve this with a side salad.  Today we also added a side of okra, sauteed in olive oil with garlic and salt.

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