SERIOUSLY easy meal! Get a little skin in the game to insure the juiciest chicken EVER.

Chicken / May 2, 2016

There are few things less vilified by our nutritional gurus than the skin of a chicken. Nicotine, perhaps, and probably margarine, but that about rounds out the top three. And it’s a shame actually because the process we follow to target a singular food as traitorous should be should be done with a more benevolent checklist than the one used by the average frightened diner. In fact even more sinister to culinary health is our romance with LARGE PORTIONS. It is here that I debate with passion against those who will surely frown on this post. Why? Life is just too short not to enjoy a beautiful, seared piece of chicken where the skin is crispy and yields ever so willingly to other flavors and accompaniments.

For instance. Bananas are very good for you. But if you peeled and snarfed 40 of them in one sitting, I’m pretty sure you’d be scanning your Blue Cross handbook before leaving for the ER. I submit then, that chicken skin enjoyed from time to time is okay. Even down right amazing.

Surely I am not the worst offender of showcasing vile food. A local restaurant here offers deep fried chicken skins as an appetizer. And they charge a pretty penny for them. And the people who frequent this establishment sit upright and even use their napkins, not sharing the slightest resemblance with huns or fugitives. The latter being a little harder to make out.

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In fact the more you dine in restaurants with a higher culinary IQ, the less chance you have of eating the kinds of toxic chemicals that plague most meals today. Overall we could benefit from a more discerning palate as we navigate menus. I might submit that learning to love good food, eating less of it, and just avoiding huge quantities is the true way nourish ourselves with more conscience and success.

And if that treatise still doesn’t have your mouth watering for crispy, herb and garlic smeared chicken, I hope more photos will do the trick. YUM!!!

You’ve seen me sear and then finish a piece of meat in the oven before. The SeaBass I made a few months ago is one example of how this moist and then dry heat method locks in juices and insures flavors are off the richter scale of lip-smacking perfection. These chicken thighs surely benefitted from that method, and by using a mixture of butter and oil for the searing, we achieved perfection. Once topped with a pureed mixture of parsley, garlic, rosemary and oil, with a little chili flake added for fun, they roasted in the oven for 15 minutes and sat for 10 minutes to finish. Voila’, y’all. Voila’….

Get some skin in the game of your next meal!!!

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Herb Seared and Roasted Chicken Thighs ​with Kalamata Relish

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
¾ C curly leaf parsley
2 t chopped fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic
2 T plus 1/3 C good olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 C red wine vinegar
1 C pitted Kalamata olives
Dash of seasoning salt
3 T butter

Method

​Take chicken out of the fridge and let it reach room temperature. Pat chicken dry.
In a food processor, process the parsley, garlic, rosemary and some salt and pepper, pulsing with about 1 T of the olive oil. Then when the pieces are small, add the rest of the olive oil and blend until almost pureed. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat a large sauté pan with 2 T olive oil and butter. Place skin side down, season with salt and pepper and then sear that side until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Turn chicken over, lower heat a bit and cook other side just until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. They should still be pink in the middle. Take off the heat and slather each of the thighs with a large portion of the garlic herb pesto. Place in the oven and finish for about 15 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Remove and add the vinegar immediately into the drippings. Cover and let sit for about 3 minutes.

Serve over yellow saffron rice and top with Kalamata olives that are chopped and mixed with a dash of seasoning salt. Garnish with more finely chopped parsley and ladle on the buttery vinegar drippings.



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