Despite its name, there’s no dairy involved in a “cream” Sherry—the name just tells you this is a fairly sweet wine. Cream sherry is blended from a combination of oxidative-but-dry oloroso, sweetened by Pedro Ximénez and/or grape must, so it’s packed with flavor, acidity and enough sugar to reduce into a delicious syrup.
Treat this glaze like barbecue sauce or teriyaki. Here it coats browned chicken thighs, but it’s also impressive when tossed with crisp roasted chicken wings. Any leftover sauce will keep it in the refrigerator for at least a month, so try it spooned on a cheese plate or as a fun update to a grilled cheese sandwich.
This straightforward recipe uses an entire 750ml bottle, but won’t break the bank. Cream Sherry is commonly found for $15 or less.
- 1 bottle (750ml) cream Sherry
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cracked green olives and lemon wedges (for garnish)
Pour Sherry into saucepan. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced down to ½ cup, about 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on pot width. Near completion, sugar will be more concentrated, and reduction quick to burn.
Transfer reduction to glass jar or bowl. The reduction will thicken as it cools. The final sauce should be thick yet pour freely, like dark maple syrup.
Heat oven to 400°F.
Pat chicken thighs dry, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange, skin side down, in cold cast-iron pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 13–15 minutes, and don’t move thighs in pan. If thighs seem to cook too quickly, reduce temperature and rotate pan to even out hot spots.
When ready, the skin should be crisp and thighs should provide very little resistance to being lifted. Flip thighs, and drain off excess fat. Spread 1 tablespoon of glaze evenly on each thigh with back of spoon.
Move pan to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove chicken, and let rest for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle olives and sliced lemon over chicken, and plate. Serves 4.