Tender & juicy braised chicken with bacon, roots, and tubers

Hello, readers! I'd like to share one of my absolute FAVORITE chicken recipes with you today. The best part about this recipe is that it is incredibly versatile. The cut of meat and the veggies can be switched around to accommodate your own personal taste, your dietary needs, and the ingredients you just happen to have on hand.  

Today, I have made it with bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, but previously I have made it using whole legs or just thighs. They always come out tasting great. Fattier cuts of meat are better for braising, so legs are better suited, but sometimes I don't like dealing with all the bones. Besides, every time I have made it using breast meat, it's tender and juicy and delicious. 

For the veggies, you can use whatever mix of starchy roots and tubers you want! Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, radishes, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, beets...use whatever combination sounds good to you or that you have available! Just be sure to save room for an onion in your pot, too. 

And, of course, you can tweak the seasonings. I love this combo of white wine, tamari sauce, mustard, and a little sugar, but you could substitute bone broth, apple juice, or water for the liquid and use any combo of flavors you love, like lemon juice and fresh ginger, cumin and cilantro, etc. I've also kept it simple before and just used some bone broth and whatever fresh herb I've got on hand, like basil. 

For this recipe, you will need an ovenproof pot with a lid that you can also use on the stovetop, such as an enameled dutch oven (Le Creuset is one of the best brands you can buy), or something like my favorite copper-bottomed pot by Calphalon

Here's what I used in this version:

  • 5 quart ovenproof pot with lid
  • bacon (see note about quantity below photo)
  • 5 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • about 10 medium red potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • about 10 carrots
  • organic tamari sauce or coconut aminos
  • dijon mustard 
  • sucanat
  • white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: additional herbs/spices, fresh garlic

Begin by cooking your bacon in your ovenproof pot. Clearly, I wasn't thinking straight when I started cooking, because 3 slices of bacon isn't enough in ANY recipe. I should have used at least 6 slices, if not 9! Let the bacon get nice and brown and crispy on both sides, then remove it from the pot and save it to add back in later. Keep all that delicious bacon fat in the pot!

While the bacon is cooking, start prepping all your veggies for the pot. If the bacon finishes cooking before you finish with the veggies, don't worry: you'll have time to finish while the chicken is browning. 

Remember: this is where you can get creative! Use whatever combo of veggies you prefer, or mimic what I did here. 

I like to peel my potatoes and carrots, but you don't have to. Chop everything coarsely (my potatoes are quartered, radishes halved, carrots in about 1.5-2 inch halved spears). You you want everything small enough that it cooks in a reasonable amount of time, but  not too small.

After you take the cooked, crispy bacon out of the pot, add your chicken to brown it on all sides using the rendered bacon fat. Be careful! If your grease is too hot and your chicken is moist, it can splatter. You may have to cook the meat in batches, depending on how much meat you're cooking and how large your pot is. I was able to fit all 5 breasts in the pot together.

After your meat is nice and brown, remove from the pot and set aside. Add all of your chopped veggies to the pot and stir around to coat with the fat left in the pan. Don't forget to add that cooked bacon back to the pot! Crumble it up and mix it in. 

Get your wet ingredients ready. I used white wine and water, but if you are avoiding alcohol or want to give the dish an extra nutrition boost, you can use homemade chicken bone broth instead. I have also used apple juice and water in the past, which are yummy, too.  

Choose your favorite mustard (I used dijon) and either coconut aminos or organic tamari sauce (regular soy sauce is a hidden source of gluten; read the ingredients and you will see wheat listed before soybeans! Also, unless you are buying organic, anything made from soy is pretty much guaranteed to be GMO). Adding a little additional sweetener is nice, but totally optional. I used sucanat, but you could also use a good local raw honey or stevia.  

I used 1/2 cup wine + 1/2 cup water, 3 Tbsp mustard, 3 Tbsp tamari, 1 Tbsp sucanat. Salt and pepper to taste. Optional: your favorite herb(s). Stir everything to mix well. Now, set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Put the lid on your pot and simmer your veggies on the stovetop on medium or medium-low heat while the oven is getting hot.

When the oven reaches temperature, place your chicken breasts skin side up on top of all the veggies, put the lid on your pot, and stick it in the oven.

After about 30 minutes, use tongs to flip the breasts over and cook for another 20-30 minutes, or until the meat is fork tender. The amount of time this takes will vary based on the cut you chose (and how the chicken was raised). If you check the temperature with a meat thermometer, when it reaches 165F it probably won't be tender yet. In my experience with this dish, you can't cook it for too long, so don't worry about that.

This dish can be a one-pot meal. Or, you can add a side of something green. I had a bunch of leeks from my produce share for the week, so I roasted those in coconut oil as a side.  


This dish tastes great leftover, too. That's why I made such a big pot! 

Enjoy! Let me know what you think in the comments :-) 

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