So, after I made a delicious grilled corn salad from summer’s crispy and sweet corn on the cob
decided to continue on the Southern path. Paired same with some chicken thighs. Those ‘bad boys’ were begging to be soaked up in some buttermilk. Did them the honors and soaked them overnight in the tart and creamy liquid after seasoning them with a little salt, black pepper, paprika and crushed garlic.
Removed them from buttermilk and drained on paper towel. These were then placed in flour seasoned with additional paprika, salt and black pepper. Oh, those thighs were super-happy as they were thoroughly deep-fried in canola oil.
After draining excess oil from chicken, they were served with the warm grilled corn salad along with steamed broccoli and nature’s butter (avocado).
The past evening, I made a surprising spin on my dear palate. I was feeling a tad creative in respect of carbohydrates for my spicy curried chicken thighs. So instead of the usual brown rice or potatoes served with same, I decided to make a home-made flat crusty bread(well, my way).
In a bowl, a combination of whole-wheat and all-purpose flour were added along with a sprinkle of baking soda, pinch of salt, drizzle of oil, melted butter, and boiling water. A dough was made and rolled out into flat breads.
These were cooked in sturdy skillet for approximately three minutes per side. Served crusty flatbread with side dish of sautéed kale. Of course, I also had a side of fried plantain to temper and provide a balance to my spicy chicken.
I felt like a mad scientist while I chopped, and diced ingredients for my roasted chicken thighs and side dishes. You see, one can eat chicken a ‘million’ and one ways. But, without the input of certain spices and other ingredients, these dishes can leave a ‘blah’ taste to the taste buds.
I was seeking a chicken dish that would ‘knock’ off my socks in a good way. And, this one did. Thanks to one of fall’s favorites, apples, I was able to turn out a dish that was savory, a little sweet and tart and left my taste buds seeking more.
Overnight, I marinated my chicken thighs with crushed garlic,drizzle of olive oil, salt, black pepper, paprika, fresh thyme. On the day of cooking, I hauled my apples in the mix. After all, they were there perched in that red dish, waiting to be devoured. I surprised them and I made a quick home-made apple sauce out of them. With a few squeeze of honey, cinnamon,pinch of salt and a splash of water, I lowered the heat.
Apples simmered on low until they because softened. I then used my fork to help them along by mashing them. After simmering to the to sauce like consistency, this was placed aside.
Chicken thighs were roasted for approximately 45 minutes at a temperature of 365 degrees fahrenheit turning once.
Home-made apple sauce was then smothered on each thigh and then placed back inside the oven for another 15 minutes at 410 degrees.
I served chicken thighs smothered in apple sauce with a serving of fall greens consisting of sautéed brussels sprouts and broccoli with dried cranberries.
I felt like a maestro conducting her orchestra. I don’t claim to be an expert; however, for me, earlier, it was a repeat performance with my curried chicken thighs. You see, my palate requested the left-overs I had in my freezer. And that was music to my ears.
Like most of us, I’ve a super-busy life; therefore, whenever I cook I often try to cook a little extra for days when I don’t feel like cooking from scratch. My thighs were bone-in and skinless. Cooking bone-in chicken provided dish with more flavors. After all, I love to nimble on the bones.
My left-over chicken thighs didn’t disappoint. Just as I surmised, they were even more mouth-watering and had more depth of flavors. I served same with steamed Jasmine rice along with a serving of tomato and avocado salad and fried plantains.
I can never grow tired of a jerk chicken dish. I would’ve had my chicken thighs a million and one ways; however, I chose to revisit the jerky-side of things. Moreover, it’s the week-end, and for me, a week-end isn’t a week-end without a meal consisting of this succulent, spicy, and mouth-watering Jamaican condiment.
I utilized the jerk sauce from the jar which comes in ‘mild’ or ‘hot/spicy’.
Of course, I love hot, thus, I went there. Jerk sauce is sold in the ethnic aisle in most supermarkets, Korean, and West Indian markets and a jar is sold for approximately $6.00. A little goes a far way. Although this sauce is packed with tremendous flavors, I like to input my side of things by adding fresh ingredients such as:
Garlic – 2 cloves (crushed)
Onions – 1 small (finely chopped)
Pimento berries (all spice) (crushed)
Splash of balsamic vinegar (any kind will do)
Pinch of salt and black pepper (bearing in mind that jerk sauce contains)
Chicken thighs were skinless and bone-in. These were cut into smaller portions and rinsed with a little lime juice. Chicken was drizzled with canola oil, seasoned with the above ingredients and jerk sauce. This was marinated in fridge overnight.
Poultry was brought to room temperature, and then placed on baking sheet. In a pre-heated 350 degree oven, chicken was baked for 50 minutes turning once. Chicken was brushed with a sauce consisting of jerk sauce, ketchup and sprinkle of sugar. Then an addition 10 minutes were added at 370 degrees for a brown finish.
The finished dish was spicy and loaded with amazing flavors of the Caribbean. And, to temper my spicy thighs, I added a few small sweet bell peppers. My palate and I were extremely happy.
Sunday’s supper was quite a treat. Actually, I must have consumed this popular Jamaican dish hundreds of time since childhood. Now, that’s a lot of chicken going on! Anyway, when I laid eyes on my skinless and bone-in chicken thighs, I knew exactly how I was going to prep and cook same.
The previous night, I chopped my thighs in bite-size pieces. Then, I marinated them with a drizzle of coconut oil, salt, black pepper, cumin, curry powder, crushed ginger, garlic and pimento. Fast forward to cooking time, I made sure to bring chicken to room temperature.
In a sturdy skillet, a small drizzle of olive oil was added on medium heat. Chicken was placed within and a quick sautay was done in order to coat chicken pieces and seal in flavors. To that I added chopped onions, celery, a couple of sprigs of thyme along with a splash of house vinegar.
Cold water was used to cover chicken and the lid was placed on skillet. Chicken simmered for approximately 30 to 35 minutes under low to medium heat making sure to turn over pieces. In addition, extra liquid was added as needed. Chicken was cooked until fork tender. The aromas were very intoxicating and filled my space. And, the flavors of the spices and herbs were bold and beckoned me in.
After gravy was reduced to the right consistency, I allowed chicken to rest for a few minutes; then, this was served with a garlic steamed asparagus
and left-rice whole-grain rice. Me and my palate were taken on a trip to a familiar place in culinary history. We were extremely happy.
I guess island life was on my mind when I embarked on cooking supper earlier on. I’m not a huge lover of mango; however, I do like same in a salsa or drink. I got this golden/yellow one that I placed in the refrigerator to stop the ripening process. Having a few ingredients on hand like jalapeno, tomatoes, limes, avocado, etc., I decided to make me a mango salsa my style.
With a little dicing and cutting, I assembled my ‘sunshine’ in a margarita glass. This was placed in refrigerator for chilling.
Chicken thighs were marinated overnight with a drizzle of canola oil so as to hold seasoning. Then salt, black pepper, grated onion, crushed garlic, thyme, and of course jerk sauce were added. marinated chicken thighs were brought to room temperature. Then, thighs were dried with paper towel and brushed with olive oil. On hot grill over medium to high heat, thighs were grilled for approximately five minutes per side so as to seal in flavors and visible marks.
After brushing chicken with a blend of jerk sauce, honey, balsamic vinegar, this was placed in oven at 390 degrees for roasting for another thirty minutes.
Grilled jerk chicken thighs were served with roasted sweet potato wedges along with mango salsa. The combination was quite spectacular. The flavors were huge. The ingredients in the salsa yielded a sweet, tart, slight spicy finish. And of course, the sweet and crispy sweet potatoes wedges provided a sweet counter-balance to the spicy jerk chicken.
It is amazing how a few simple ingredients can transform a mundane dish to a completely enticing one. I do think I consume chicken a million and one ways. I confess, my diet is made up the beloved poultry quite a few times per week. But, after a while one can get a tad weary of something well-loved.
It’s like a relationship, one has to spin the ‘old thing’ and make it seem like new with the incorporation of a few tricks. On a clear and beautiful night, instead of being in the same usual spot, one can surprise a mate, be a little risky and take to the roof all dressed in something rather out of character. You never know what can happen? It could be a thrill as well a neighbor could call the authorities.
Anyway guys, seems like I’m going a wee bit off on different tangents; let me get back to the subject of poultry. So, I wanted to bring my chicken thighs to another level…something to wake up my palate and get me excited. Fetched me a few bone-less and skin chicken thighs at the store. Wasn’t too sure what I was going do with same.
I made my way over to the herbs and garnered some parsley and thyme. But then, my fingers brushed on a package of tarragon and it hit me. I saw it somewhere on television recently. I decided to replicate (well, my version). Thus, I went to work.
I got back to my kitchenette and brought forward my cast iron skillet. Before that, I pounded my thighs with my mallet so as to thin them out to shorten cooking time. I seasoned with salt and pepper to taste along with crushed garlic and a dish of balsamic vinegar.
After about an hour, I removed crushed garlic from chicken and immersed them in my cast iron skillet along with tarragon.
The flavors were intoxicating as they enveloped my space. Moreover, the balsamic vinegar provided a sweet/tart way which aided in browning and caramelizing my thighs. At this point I added a splash of Chardonnay wine I had on hand. All the bits were scraped from the bottom of the pan and integrated to make a tasty sauce. Then, I tossed in a half of a roughly chopped onion, thyme and a squeeze of fresh lemon along with a few teaspoon of water. Hmmmmm, my thighs were in heaven.
In approximately fifteen to twenty minutes my thighs were all done. I served them with roasted baby zucchini with reduced balsamic vinegar and rice fritters. Of course, I reserved a glass of white stuff (Chardonnay). Salud to the chicken dish!!