Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Roasted Chicken Thighs Provençal

My friend Michelle recently commented on how often I cook chicken thighs and how they aren't as healthy for Abe.  I had never noticed, but yes, there are a lot of recipes on this site for thighs.  And now there will be one more.  I couldn't help it.... I saw chicken thighs on sale for $.75 a pound and couldn't pass them up! 

I didn't follow the recipe to the letter because when I went to the fridge to pull out the olives, I realized that my pregnant butt had eaten them all.  So, I made it without, but I'm assuming they'd add a very nice flavor and will use them the next time.  But just know the dish is delicious without them.

I added some quartered onions and thickly sliced garlic cloves and think that any vegetable good for roasting would go perfectly in the recipe.  Throw in whatever root veggie that looks like it's on its last leg.  I put the veggies on one baking sheet and the chicken on another and just roasted them at the same time.  I guess you could put them together, but the chicken made a lot of grease, so I wouldn't suggest it.

I kept the skin on the thighs to keep them moist, but you can remove them to cut down on the fat (or just not eat them).

I got this recipe from  I served it with a green salad.


Roasted Chicken Thighs Provençal 
Serves 6

3  pounds  small red potatoes, quartered
4  plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 6 wedges
3  carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
Cooking spray
1  tablespoon  olive oil
1 1/2  tablespoons  chopped fresh rosemary, divided
2  teaspoons  chopped fresh thyme, divided
1  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
6  (6-ounce) skinless chicken thighs
24  niçoise olives
Preheat oven to 425°.

Place potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle vegetable mixture with olive oil; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, 1 teaspoon thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss gently, and spread into a single layer on pan. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes. Remove vegetable mixture from pan, and keep warm.

Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped rosemary, remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and olives to pan. Drizzle a little olive oil on chicken. Bake at 425° for 35 minutes or until chicken is done.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot

I've always shied away from putting an entire chicken in a crock pot.  I know the boys like their whole chickens to be crispy and roasted.  But I had a chicken to make and we were going to be at baseball tryouts all day.  So I bit the bullet and found a recipe.

What a success it was!  And for how easy it was, I'm certainly going to use this one again.

The white pepper can be found with the spices.  It's got a more delicate pepper taste, but black pepper can replace it.

I got the recipe from

Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot
Serves 4

4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large roasting chicken
1 cup onion, chopped

In a small bowl, combine the spices.  Remove any giblets from chicken and clean chicken.

Rub spice mixture onto the chicken.
Place in resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight. (This step can be skipped).
When ready to cook, put chopped onion in bottom of crock pot.  Add chicken. No liquid is needed, the chicken will make its own juices.  Cook on low 4-8 hours.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Filipino Chicken Adobo

I've never made Filipino food, nor eaten it.  This recipe seemed so simple and I could tell by the ingredients that it had the potential to be a hit.  Abe was a little hesitant when I told him what I was making, but man, did he eat his words (and the entire dish).  He LOVED it and couldn't stop complimenting the dish.

It's a recipe that is easy to put together with pantry ingredients. You just have to make sure you marinade it for the 18 to 24 hours, so some planning ahead is  needed. 

I served it with brown rice and a mixed salad.

I got the recipe from The Splendid Table.


Filipino Chicken Adobo
Serves 4-6

1/4 cup soy sauce
10 large garlic cloves, coarse chopped
1 tablespoon fresh-ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups Filipino palm vinegar, or cider or white vinegar
1 cup whole canned tomatoes with their liquid
2 bay leaves, broken
3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 8)
Good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, thin sliced
2 whole scallions, thin sliced (optional garnish)

The day before cooking the chicken, take a large glass or stainless steel bowl and combine in it the soy sauce, garlic, black pepper, vinegar, tomatoes (break them up with your hands as you add them to the bowl), and the bay leaves. Add the chicken, making sure it is almost completely submerged in the marinade. Lightly cover and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.

When ready to cook the chicken, turn the mixture into a heavy 4-quart pot. Bring it to a gentle bubble, cover and cook 25 minutes, or until the center of a chicken thigh registers 175 degrees F on an instant reading thermometer.

With tongs, remove the chicken to a plate. Skim as much fat as possible from the cooking liquid, increase the heat, and start briskly boiling it down by half. While the liquid reduces, film a straight-sided 12-inch sauté pan with the olive oil. Heat it over medium high. Arrange the chicken pieces skin down to brown, standing back because they may spatter. Adjust heat so chicken doesn't burn.

When the chicken pieces are a deep rich brown on one side, turn the pieces and scatter the onion around them. Continue browning the chicken, and move the onions around so the pieces don't burn. Then, with a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and onions to a serving bowl. Pour the boiled-down pan juices over them and serve. You could garnish the adobo with a scattering of thin-sliced scallions.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lemon-Garlic Spanish Chicken Thighs with Rice Pilaf

I knew this one would be a hit with Abe when I saw that it had chorizo sausage in it.  I think you could add sausage to an old shoe and most men would drool.  Sure enough, Abe loved  it.  Jimi ate it, but I think the more complex flavors were lost on him.  It might seem like a lot of ingredients, but it is easy to make.

Chorizo was new to me.  It's Mexican/Spanish sausage and is flavored with Spanish paprika.  I worried that I wouldn't find it at the grocery store, but it was right along with the other sausages.   

Smoked paprika is definitely a necessity to give the dish its Spanish flavor.  Don't be tempted to try to get away with regular sweet paprika.  Smoked can be found in the regular grocery store and has a really great flavor/scent.

The recipes calls for sliced lemons cooked into the dish.  I don't *think* you're supposed to eat them, but if you're brave, go for it.  The boys ate around them.  They did add a subtle lemon flavor.

I didn't trim the fat from the thighs, so I had a lot of fat at the bottom of the pan by the end of cooking the chicken.  I had to drain some of it off in order to brown the chicken.  

I got this recipe from Everyday with Rachel Ray.  It's supposed to be a 30 minute meal, but I found the chicken needed a little longer to cook than recommended, so keep that in mind.


Lemon-Garlic Spanish Chicken Thighs with Rice Pilaf
Serves 4

4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup broken pieces thin spaghetti
1 cup rice
3 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 pound cured chorizo (about 5 links), casings removed and sliced on an angle 1 inch thick
8 chicken thighs
4 small onions, quartered lengthwise with the roots intact
2 small regular or meyer lemons, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives (a couple of generous handfuls)
6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika or paprika (2/3 palmful)
1/2 cup dry white wine or 1/3 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the pasta and toast for 3 minutes. Stir in the rice to coat. Add 2 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil, then cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes; fluff with a fork. (If the rice sticks near the end of the cooking time, add a splash more stock.) Season with salt and pepper.

In a large, deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, turning, until browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Season the chicken with a lot of pepper and a little salt and add to the drippings in the skillet. Cook over medium heat, turning once, until browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet, 1 turn of the pan. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the lemons, olives, garlic, bay leaves and paprika; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, scraping up the browned bits from the pan. Stir in the remaining 1 cup chicken stock.

Return the chicken and chorizo to the skillet, cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer all the solid ingredients to a platter. Reduce the sauce for a minute over high heat, then stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the parsley. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Discard the bay leaves. Serve alongside or on top of the pilaf.