Sunday, November 6, 2011

winner winner chicken dinner

I'm unsure as to why the chicken looks like a turtle in this picture. It is not a turtle. It is a chicken thigh. If you want to cook turtle you should reference epic meal time, because I, unfortunately, don't know anything about cooking turtles. 

So my dinner was braised rosemary thyme chicken sauteed kale and a panko roasted heirloom tomato. 
I found really delicious smelling tomatoes and herbs at the store, so I had to buy them. When you have ingredients this beautiful, you really don't need much else to make delicious food.

What You'll Need (yields 2 servings):
for the chicken:

2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, bone in, skin on ensures a juicy, moist end product. 
6 whole fresh sage leaves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced
3 sprigs of fresh thyme or lemon thyme, minced
4 sage leaves, minced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1-3 T olive oil and/or butter
1/4 c-1 c no sodium chicken stock depending on the size of your chicken thighs
salt, pepper

for the kale bell pepper saute:

1 bunch of kale, chopped into bite size pieces
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 T olive oil
crushed red pepper
1/8 c chicken stock

for the panko roasted tomato:

at least 1 medium-large tomato, I used 3
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T fresh basil, chopped
2 T parmesan cheese, grated 
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper

So, let us charge onward to the turtle chicken. 
Mince up the sage, rosemary and thyme. 

smash 2 garlic cloves with the back of your knife or the bottom of wine bottle or olive oil bottle.
Take out the chicken thighs and lightly rub oil or melted butter on them, not a lot, just enough so that the seasonings will stick. now, SALT AND PEPPER them. seasoning the meat before you cook it is crucial.  do not be afraid of salt. use about 4 pinches this size per chicken thigh. 
I know, it seems like a lot of salt. Let me tell you a secret. The reason that food tastes so delicious in restaurants is because these people are good buddies with salt. (and butter, but that's a tale for another day). Sorry to burst your bubble, but it was time for you to hear the terrible, salty truth. 
Once you've salt and peppered the chicken, lift up the skin on each and put 3 whole sage leaves under the skin (helloooo flavortown) then pat on the minced herbs to coat all sides of the thighs. 
Heat a wide pan with at least 1" sides over medium-high heat. Once hot, add olive oil, or a mixture of oil and butter and the 2 smashed garlic cloves. As soon as you can smell the garlic, use tongs to place the chicken thighs, skin side down into the pan. You should hear a really loud sizzle. Sizzle=brown and crispy skin=good time for your taste buds. Let the chicken brown, skin side down for 5-7 minutes, you want it to be really golden brown before flipping to brown the bottom side. 
Once the chicken is browned on both sides, pour in enough chicken broth to come up 1/3 of the way on the chicken thighs. The pan is going to make a loud noise, don't be scared, it's supposed to happen.

 Bring the heat to a lower temperature so that the stock is simmering (small bubbles hitting the surface, not a boil though) and cover for approx 10-20 minutes. Until your meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.
You can buy a digital meat thermometer at most grocery stores for around $10. It's worth it. 
So once your chicken registers at 165 degrees you are finished!!

So, let's back track. While the chicken is braising in the pan, you can make the kale and tomatoes.
For the tomatoes:
preheat the oven to 375
halve the tomato/es and drizzle with some olive oil, and some salt.
in a bowl combine the cup of panko bread crumbs, minced garlic, chopped basil, salt, pepper, parmesan.

pack the bread crumb mixture onto the tomato halves and pop in the oven until the tomatoes are softened and the topping is golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.

for the kale:
heat a medium size pot over medium heat and add 1 T of olive oil or butter, or both. Add in the smashed garlic clove.
add in the kale and bell pepper, stir to coat in the olive oil. cover with a lid and let steam for about 8-10 minutes until the kale is soft and the garlic has infused. season with salt and crushed red pepper, to taste. 

garnish with basil sage oil!! or don't if you just want to eat it and you are tired of cooking. Voila! Winner Winner Chicken Dinnaa

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