main course

Chicken Thighs With the Crispiest Skin Ever!

by Anne Maxfield on March 2, 2017

I know that saying this recipe gives you the crispiest chicken skin ever is going to be controversial.

Wait until you try it!

The Accidental Locavore cooked this recipe for Golden Chicken Thighs with Charred-Lemon Salsa Verde from Food and Wine last week for dinner. Feeds 6-8.

You need a little time for it to marinate, so plan ahead.

Chicken Thighs With the Crispiest Skin Ever!

Chicken:

  • 12 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
  • 24 sage leaves
  • 16 garlic cloves—6 cut into 4 slices each, the rest gently smashed and peeled
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 slices
  • Strips of zest from 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 fresh bay leaves (optional) 

Salsa Verde: 

  • 1 lemon, cut into 1/2-inch slices and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped drained capers
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Run your fingers under the skin of each chicken thigh to create a pocket. Stuff each pocket with 2 sage leaves, 2 slices of garlic and 1 slice of butter. Transfer the stuffed thighs to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, stir the lemon zest strips with the smashed garlic, olive oil, chopped herbs and crushed red pepper. Pour the mixture over the thighs and gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 450°. On a small baking sheet or oven proof dish, toss the lemon slices with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread the lemon slices in an even layer and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until charred on the bottom. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes. Chop the slices into 1/4“ pieces and set aside.

Leave the oven on.

In a mortar, or mini-chopper, mash the oregano and mint with the chopped garlic, anchovy, capers and 1 teaspoon of salt until a smooth paste forms. Slowly drizzle in the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Stir in the chopped lemon a little at a time, to taste.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet, big enough to put the chicken in a single layer (or do it in batches) over medium heat. Season the thighs evenly with salt; remove the lemon zest and smashed garlic from the marinade and set aside. Arrange the chicken thighs skin-side down in the skillet. Cover it with another large pan or pot weighted down with a few heavy cans. Cook over moderate heat until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.

Remove the weight and turn the chicken. Scatter the chicken with the reserved lemon zest, garlic and the bay leaves, if using. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Discard the bay leaves. Transfer the chicken to a platter, serve with the salsa verde and enjoy!

 

My verdict: As I said in the intro, we were shocked by how crispy the chicken skin was! I’m definitely going to try this the next time I make a roast chicken.

I used half the chicken (6 thighs), half the sage, garlic, butter and lemon zest but made the whole recipe for the marinade and salsa. Rosemary would work well under the chicken skin too.

I left out the parsley and the bay leaves and don’t think either of them was missed (not sure what would happen with dried bay leaves).  I also left out the thyme because I forgot to buy it – that would have been a nice addition. And I zested the lemon on my microplane rather than zesting it into strips.

In three months, all of these herbs will be growing in my garden, so this will definitely get made again (maybe on the grill).

Because the chicken was so good on its own, the salsa verde was a nice but unnecessary addition and might actually be better on some lamb or fish. I’d slice the lemons thinner next time and if I was doing it on the grill would definitely grill them.

 

 

 

{ 2 comments }

5 Ingredient Sausage and Cabbage Casserole

by Anne Maxfield on November 3, 2016

accidental-locavore-5-ingredieant-sliced-cabbage5 ingredient sausage and cabbage seemed like a good fall dish, since I had a couple of those cute pointy cabbages from my CSA and sausage in the freezer.

Then it was 80°.

The Accidental Locavore waited until the temperature shot back down and gave this a try.

Putting it together is quick and easy, but it needs 2 ½ hours to cook, so plan ahead (or save for a weekend).

5 Ingredient Sausage and Cabbage Casserole

  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds fresh sweet Italian pork sausages or bulk sausage
  • 1 large green or Savoy cabbage, about 4 pounds, cored and thickly shredded
  • Freshly ground black pepper

accidental-locavore-5-ingredient-cabbage-and-sausage-prepHeat oven to 300°.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish.

Place cabbage in boiling water, cover, and let water come back to the boil. Uncover and boil for 3 minutes. Drain cabbage in a colander and run cold water over it to stop cooking.

Remove sausage casings and crumble the sausages in a bowl.

Put about 1/3 of the cabbage in buttered dish and cover with 1/2 the meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dot with butter. Repeat, ending with a final layer of cabbage, and dot top with butter.

Cover dish tightly with a layer of parchment paper, cut to the shape of your dish and top with a lid or a layer of aluminum foil.

Cook for about 2 1/2 hours, until cabbage is soft and sweet, and top is lightly browned.

After 2 hours, uncover the dish: if there is a lot of liquid in the bottom, leave uncovered for the rest of the cooking time. If not, re-cover and finish cooking.

Serve with mustard and some crusty bread and enjoy!

accidental-locavore-5-ingredient-cabbage-and-sausageMy verdict: Who knew 5 ingredients could be this good! I’m not sure if these “conehead” cabbages we’ve been getting are sweeter than the normal green cabbage, but they are cute and really tasty! If you can find them, try them (the cores are almost non-existent for easy prep). I had two of them, about 2 pounds, and a pound package of Boerewors, a South African inspired sausage from Jacuterie, so halved the recipe and it easily fed two.

It was delicious and buttery and the sausages were great with it! You could use almost any sausage, so feel free to improvise. A strong Dijon was a nice addition but even a milder coarse mustard went well.

Give it a try when you have a couple of hours to cook it. If you didn’t care about browning the top, it would probably work well in a slow cooker.

Let me know what you think.

 

{ 3 comments }

Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good

by Anne Maxfield on October 13, 2016

accidental-locavore-stuffed-pumpkinsThere are certain recipes you just don’t mess with.

Pumpkin stuffed with everything good is not one of them.

It actually begs to be messed with.

And is a great way to use up some of those bits of leftovers in the fridge.

It’s from Dorrie Greenspan’s Around My French Table (where you can find the original recipe) and this is the Accidental Locavore’s recent riff on it for 2 people:

accidental-locavore-pumpkin-stuffingPumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good

  • 2 small pumpkins
  • A handful of croutons
  • 2 cooked Italian sausage, sliced
  • 3 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ½ cup thinly sliced leeks (green tops fine)
  • ¼ pound any cheese cut into ¼” cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment and set aside

Carefully cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (like you were carving a Halloween pumpkin), clean off the bottom edge and set aside.

accidental-locavore-pumpkin-for-stuffingClean out the seeds and guts of the pumpkin. If you want to roast the pumpkin seeds just put all the stuff in a bowl for later. Salt and pepper the insides of the pumpkins.

Toss everything except the heavy cream and nutmeg in a bowl and toss.

Pack the mix into the pumpkins. They should be well filled because some of the stuffing will condense when it’s cooked.

Mix the cream and nutmeg together and pour into the pumpkins. You don’t want the stuffing to be drowned in cream, but you want it be moist.

Put the caps back on and bake for 90 minutes.

Remove the caps and back for an additional 20-30 minutes. The pumpkins should be tender and easily pierced by the tip of a knife.

Serve and enjoy!

accidental-locavore-finished-pumpkinMy verdict: This is a great way to use up leftovers and it tastes great! You can use a single (larger) pumpkin and either serve it in wedges or just bring the whole thing to the table and let everyone scoop out a serving (much more impressive). It takes time to cook and a little prep time to clean the pumpkin, but that can be done ahead of time.

Let me know if you try it and what you put into it.

{ 1 comment }

Zucchini, Mozzarella and Prosciutto

by Anne Maxfield on September 15, 2016

accidental-locavore-zucchini-casseroleZucchini, mozzarella and prosciutto.

Even if you think you’ve had enough zucchini now that it’s cooling off, it’s a great excuse to make this casserole/gratin recipe!

Joyce, from Quattro’s, our local butcher, gave the Accidental Locavore this recipe. It’s super easy and might have served 4, but Frank and I ate the whole thing because there was no more room in the fridge for leftovers.

That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

Zucchini, mozzarella and prosciutto recipe:

  • 1 large or two medium zucchini
  • 1 ball of mozzarella (about a pound)
  • 3 ounces of prosciutto, thinly sliced (if you buy it packaged that’s the size, otherwise go for ¼ pound)
  • Bread crumbs or panko
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium sized garlic clove (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese for the top (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°.

If you have really large zucchini, slice in half across the middle, stand on the cut end, and slice into 1/8” long slices. Otherwise, just cut off an end and stand it up and slice it. If you have a mandoline, this is a good time to pull it out.

Slice the mozzarella into 1/8” slices*.

Pour some of the olive oil into a plate and pour about a cup of bread crumbs into another plate.

accidental-locavore-zucchini-casserole-prepRub a medium-sized gratin pan with the cut garlic if using and lightly grease with some of the olive oil.

Dip a slice of zucchini into the olive oil and then the bread crumbs. Repeat with the rest of the zucchini.

Make a layer of zucchini in the pan. Top with a layer of prosciutto and a layer of mozzarella.

Repeat, ending with mozzarella on the top.

Sprinkle with Parmesan if using and any leftover bread crumbs (also optional).

Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the zucchini is cooked and the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Serve and enjoy!

accidental-locavore-zucchini-casserole-ready-to-bakeMy verdict: Might not have been the prettiest dish ever, but you can’t eat pretty! The fact that there was nothing left tells you that it was really good!

We decided that it would be a great platform for a lot of different variations. Italian sausage could take the place of prosciutto, eggplant could sub for the zucchini etc.

Joyce used a particular Italian zucchini which didn’t have a lot of seeds, we used a very large unknown variety that had some seeds but wasn’t watery. If you’re going to use standard zucchini, go for the smaller ones.

*Mozzarella slices much easier with a serrated cheese knife like this one:accidental-locavore-cheese-knife

 

 

 

 

{ 2 comments }