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Is it worth braising boneless skinless chicken thighs? All the braising videos and recipes I see call for bone-in, skin-on. The way I understand it, the stew will take on the flavor of the meat through the fat liquifying into a broth.

I'm specifically trying to make Dak Dori Tang or Dak Bokkeum Tang (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dak-bokkeum-tang).

I've seen 4 videos of this on YouTube. Some sear the meat first, and set it aside. Some don't sear the meat at all. Some simmer it for almost an hour (I simmered my batch for 20 minutes, and it was stringy and heavily overcooked, though it was breast), others simmer it for less. All of them pretty much put in the potatoes right as the chicken goes in or well after, never before. My broth tasted like nothing. Luckily, the vegetables--onions and sweet potatoes--were nicely cooked after 15 minutes simmering.

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Asking if something is worth it is opinion based, so I will address the differences between the results you get braising chicken thighs skin on and off as I've done both many times.

Chicken thigh skins have a lot of fat, when you braise the fat stays in the end result because there's nowhere for it to go, which can make it too greasy for some tastes. The chicken skin takes on a very limp consistency, which is also not to everyone's taste but you can pull it off before serving to cater to preferences. The chicken flavor is a little stronger with the skins on

Skinless gives a less fatty result, the chicken flavor is a bit less but still pretty strong. I've tried browning the meat directly, I personally don't like the result as the texture changes aren't worth the flavor you get from doing it, but you'd likely want to try it yourself.

I personally find leaving the skins on ends up being too greasy, but I like the flavor you get from browning the skins, so I've come up with a hybrid method. I skin all the chicken, then I fry off 4 skins in the braising pot until they get nice and brown, remove them and discard before adding all the chicken pieces, stock and everything else. This gives a good balance.

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It depends on exactly what you want out of the chicken. Braising consists of browning food and then boiling.

Browning meat gives it more flavour on the outside. Each piece will develop flavours on the outside only thanks to the Maillard reactions.

Boiling meat breaks the tissue down. I don't think that chicken thighs require any more cooking than heating through. It's not got the collagen of a beef brisket.

Cooking with the bone in can impart extra flavour into a dish if the bone is submerged in liquid and slows down the time it takes to heat the meat near the bone. If you're braising over a long period of time the bone could add extra flavour and help stop the chicken from over cooking.

If you have boneless chicken thighs, I personally would sear for the flavour and then boil for around 20-30 minutes only.

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To answer your question about "braising boneless skinless chicken thighs" and relate it to Dak-bokkeum-tang.

General rule, avoid cooking chicken for more that 30 minutes. The cooking heat or temperature is also very important, always keep it to a medium simmer (slightly higher than a gentle simmer). Cooking chicken too long or too hard will result in stringy, dry, hard, generally unpalatable meat.

In this case, brown the chicken thighs lightly, skin side down (if there is still skin). As the meat is boneless, this is a quick browning, just to get some color on. Then it's on to braising. if you got potatoes and carrots, I would get those simmering in broth for 10 minutes, just to get it cooking ahead for a bit, before adding in the chicken pieces for the final 20 minute braise.

Tip: marinating the meat in some salt, pepper, sesame oil and tapioca starch, for 30 minutes before cooking to improve texture and flavor of the meat. the starch plays a big role in this.

Hope this helps, do let us know how it turns out for you next time.

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