Braised Chicken Thighs and Cabbage with Scallion-Ginger Sauce

Last Updated on March 26, 2024

It’s not jerk chicken, to be certain, but this recipe does pull some ingredient inspiration from the traditional and beloved Jamaican marinade. Sharp scallions, warming allspice, and fragrant ginger come together in a zippy green sauce, the perfect companion to tender, slow-cooked chicken thighs. A nod to the flavors of an island dinner. Recipes like this remind me I don’t always have to travel to take a flavor vacation. 

Braised chicken thighs are a weeknight dinner hero of mine. Easy to execute and deeply flavorful, chicken thighs can be cooked longer than the more popular chicken breasts due to higher levels of connective tissue. The longer the chicken thighs cook with low and slow heat, the more tender they become, giving home cooks ample wiggle room for a long braise. Choosing bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs provides the opportunity for an irresistibly crispy skin—although boneless and skinless chicken thighs work in this recipe, too!  

My favorite pairing for this meal is a side of fried sweet plantains topped with quick-pickled red onions. And when I say quick pickled, I mean the quickest technique: just a brief marinade in a few shakes of vinegar and a pinch of salt to transform sliced red onions into a tangy, bright pink topping. Sweet plantains are a Jamaican dinnertime staple and were frequently on my family’s dinner table while I was growing up. The union of sweet, creamy plantains and bright, pickled onions is a delightful match. This side dish stands up perfectly to the richness of the chicken thighs and the intensity of the spicy scallion-ginger sauce. 


Technique Tip: Habanero peppers can pack some serious heat. I recommend removing the seeds and ribs for medium heat. If you’re not a fan of any level of spice, omit it! 

 Swap Option: The scallion-ginger sauce is a perfect companion for a variety of proteins. If you don’t have bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. This also goes well with a pork tenderloin. 

Braised Chicken Thighs and Cabbage with Scallion-Ginger Sauce

4 from 4 votes
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Protein: Poultry
Cut: Chicken Thighs
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4


For the chicken:

  • 2 lbs bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ head of green cabbage roughly chopped
  • 1 small red onion sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock

For the scallion-ginger sauce:

  • 4 scallions thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 tsp habanero pepper minced
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Make the chicken: Pat the chicken thighs dry and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs skin side down and cook without moving, until the skin is a deep golden brown and releases with ease from the bottom of the pan, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Once the skin is browned, flip the chicken and brown the other side, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  • Add the cabbage and sliced onion to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to release moisture and soften slightly. Deglaze with 1 cup chicken stock and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a boil and reduce slightly to concentrate flavors, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Nestle the chicken thighs back into the skillet with any accumulated juices and place the skillet in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is supremely tender and the cabbage is soft.
  • Make the scallion-ginger sauce: In a mortar and pestle, mash together the scallions, cilantro, ginger, garlic, habanero, allspice, and vinegar. Season the sauce generously with salt and pepper, and stream in the olive oil while mashing to thoroughly incorporate.
  • To serve: Arrange the chicken thighs on a platter with pan drippings, cabbage, and onions, and spoon the green sauce over top.


Sweet Plantains with Quick-Pickled Red Onion 
Serving size: 4  
Prep Time: 10 minutes 
Cook Time: 5 minutes 
For the quick-pickled onions: 
½ small red onion, thinly sliced 
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar 
Kosher salt, to taste 
For the sweet plantains 
2 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced lengthwise  
Unrefined coconut oil, for frying  
Flaky salt, to taste  
  1. Pickle the onions: In a small bowl, mix the sliced onions, vinegar, and season with a pinch salt. Set aside until the onions turn bright pink and taste pickled, 10 to 15 minutes. 
  1. Fry the plantains: Heat enough coconut oil to generously coat the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat, about ¼-inch up the side of the pan. Test the oil temperature by dipping the tip of a plantain slice into the heated oil—if it sizzles, it's ready!  
  1. Gently lay the plantain slices in the oil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until deep golden brown on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside.   
  1. Transfer cooked plantains to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle with flaky salt and garnish with the pickled onions. 
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Ashley Lonsdale is the chef at ButcherBox. Her big hope is for a world where everyone can access the joy of food. That hope is precisely why she spends her free time as an associate board member for the Food Education Fund and writing recipes for her newsletter FOODSTAR. Previously, she was the culinary director for Daily Harvest, a private chef, and a line cook in various New York City kitchens. She is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute.