Yes, folks, this is my post number 500! Five hundred times that I’ve hit the PUBLISH key, and sent my words and images into the blogosphere! I wanted this post to be special, but at the same time I had to go with life’s flow, which lately has not allowed me to indulge into fancy cooking. But one cannot go wrong with a recipe described as “The best thing I ever made”. If you are familiar with the FoodTV, you may know they have a show with that exact title, and it’s actually pretty interesting: chefs describe their favorite recipe in a particular category. This was Alton Brown’s best take on chicken. Chicken thighs are de-boned, and roasted with an olive stuffing under the skin, and a smoked paprika rub. They cook over thin slices of Yukon gold potatoes. I could have those potatoes on a daily basis. For breakfast. For lunch. For dinner. For a late night snack. Oh, yes, the chicken was awesome too!
SMOKED PAPRIKA CHICKEN THIGHS WITH POTATO AND ONION
(from Alton Brown’s Best Thing I ever Made)
6 ounces pimento stuffed green olives, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, grated
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 + 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled
1 medium yellow onion, cut in small pieces
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine the olives, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl, and set aside. Mix the smoked paprika, olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and pepper into a paste in a large bowl.
De-bone the chicken thighs using a pair of kitchen shears: make a cut down the length of the bone to expose it, then cut the meat away from the bone. Discard the bone. Add the boned chicken thighs to the paste and massage well to coat. Let it sit for half an hour or so.
Thinly slice the potatoes on a mandoline, about 1/4-inch thick. Arrange the potato slices and onion pieces in an even layer on a foil-lined half sheet pan and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt.
Stuff about 2 tablespoons of the olive mixture under the skin of each chicken thigh. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on a cooling rack and set the rack over the potatoes and onion in the half sheet pan. Bake until the skin is crispy and the potatoes are tender, 55 to 60 minutes. If you prefer the potatoes crispy, remove the rack with the chicken and return to the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: The only tricky part of this recipe was de-boning the chicken thighs, but it’s not that hard. I normally cook chicken thighs on the bone, but there’s something special about cutting through those pieces of meat, all juicy with the stuffing, without having to work around the bone. It is a technique that could be applied to other types of stuffing. The liquid that drips during roasting infuses the potatoes with incredibly rich flavor.
In typical Sally fashion, onion and garlic were omitted, but I gave you the recipe the exact way Alton made it in the show. I never thought very highly about pimento-stuffed olives, but they are simply perfect in this dish. Alton Brown had a moment of inspiration when he conceived this recipe, everything works together extremely well. Since it’s a reasonably heavy dish, you won’t need anything else to round the meal.
Five hundred posts published and no special celebration? Well, stay tuned, my friends. A special milestone is waiting around the corner, and for that one I’ll have a little giveaway to my readers!
ONE YEAR AGO: Back in Los Angeles
TWO YEARS AGO: White House Macaroni and Cheese
THREE YEARS AGO: Korean-Style Pork with Asian Slaw