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Get Cooking: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Braised Cucumbers

June 1, 2010

Back in May, Rachel posted a review of French Women Don’t Get Fat. I was surprised to see the book resurface. It seemed to have hit its peak long ago and submit to a takeover by the South Beach Diet. And now, Jillian Michaels.

But I trust Rachel’s passion behind any good review, so I did a little research. And much like Listerine Whitening Rinse, Ms. I-Just-Can’t-Help-Myself found another winner, buried in 2007.

I looked because my mindset has been shifting. Warm weather is arousing my love for cool salads, crisp vegetables, and anything grilled or “on the cob”.ย  I want to eat things that are simple, fresh, and flavorful! Which is exactly what Ms. Guiliano talks about in her book, except she also includes champagne and butter. Definitely something I can get in to.

While my copy is still en route from Amazon, the website has a great array of tips and recipes to begin sinking yourself into the French mindset. Including the fabulous idea of roasting just a chicken leg. I love roasting a whole chicken, but I hate eating chicken for a week. Getting a leg quarter is the perfect answer. French women: +1 point.

That, along with Julia Child’s braised cucumbers. Because A) Why would I make something French without consulting the master?, and B) I secretly believe Amy Adams really ate and loved them in Julie and Julia. In this case, it was clearly a good move to believe that everything that happensย  in a movie is real. French food is absolutely the way to go.

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Braised Cucumbers

For the Chicken:

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (2 for tonight, 2 for leftovers!)

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1/2 tablespoon mint, chopped

Salt and pepper

For the Cucumbers: (Adapted from Julia Child)

2 medium sized cucumbers

1/2 tablespoon butter or olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped


For the Side:

1 sweet potato

1 tablespoon oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 475*

Slice up the sweet potato into about 10 rounds (the short way). Toss with the oil, salt and pepper and put on a baking sheet in the bottom rack of the oven.

Mash up the butter, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place the chicken thighs on an oven proof dish. Gently separate the skin from the chicken meat and smoosh 1/4 of the butter mixture under it, covering the meat. Do this for each thigh. Put in the oven for 20 minutes.

While the chicken and potatoes are cooking, peel the cucumbers and slice them in quarters lengthwise. Remove the seeds and then chop the remaining strips into 1 inch pieces.

After 20 minutes, turn the potatoes over so they get crispy on the other side, and baste the chicken by taking a spoon and pouring some of the hot liquid back over the skin, maybe 2 – 3 times. Put back in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink.

Remove chicken and potatoes from oven and cover with foil to keep warm.

Put the chopped cucumbers in a pan with the butter or olive oil and turn on medium high heat. Cook for 7 – 10 minutes, or until the cucumbers are soft. Let them stick to the bottom a little so they get some nice brown bits! Add the lemon, salt, and mint to taste.


Don’t be afraid of the chicken skin. You don’t have to eat it, but cooking with it on makes the meat so juicy you won’t believe its chicken! And the cucumbers — let’s just say “Cool as a cucumber” is now blasphemy in my book. I prefer my cucumbers steaming!


Don’t forget to enter my Vampire Bites: TrueBlood Recipe Roundup!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2010 9:41 pm

    I love that book! I read it right when it came out, and I re-read it every so often. I also have her book “A French Woman For All Seasons,” which is good as well!

  2. June 1, 2010 11:08 pm

    Girl I just bought a big thing of baby cucumbers on a whim and I had NO idea what to do with them. Thank you for reminding me of that warm, culinary goddess Julia Child. Braised cukes here we come!

    Your pictures never fail to set my mouth watering โค

  3. June 2, 2010 1:24 am

    ooh, braising cucumbers?? hmm, i don’t really want to turn on my oven now that it’s been warm… but i’m all over simple and fresh!

  4. June 2, 2010 6:23 am

    I think I’m living under a rock! I’ve never heard of that book! Must buy!

    The chicken looks SO good! And you’re absolutely right…the skin traps in that moisture and makes the meat sooo juicy!

    • June 2, 2010 7:13 pm

      check out her website and you can get a little run-through of what its about…its such a nice, pleasurable philosophy, I’m sure you’ll love it!

  5. June 2, 2010 7:23 am

    That chicken looks awesome! I totally agree about the skin too ๐Ÿ™‚

    • June 2, 2010 7:13 pm

      It makes such a difference! Its time to accept that a little skin never hurt anyone ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. June 2, 2010 7:35 am

    I’m dying to read this book. I need to remember to put it on my hold list at the library.

  7. June 2, 2010 11:11 am

    I really loved that book! So many things made sense to me like, what are we okay with drinking a chemical-filled Coke but we won’t touch butter? So obvious but true! After reading this book I adapated a ton of French habits. Now I just need a fabulous haircut, some scarves, and a great apartment in Paris and I’m all set. ๐Ÿ™‚

    PS – Ali couldn’t believe the fact you saved your Halloween candy for a year. I love it!

  8. June 2, 2010 6:28 pm

    I loved Julie and Julia! The recipe looks great!

  9. June 2, 2010 8:03 pm

    I’ve heard only good things about the book! Braised cucumbers sound so interesting – and different. I really want to try them. They have such great flavors. An all-around delicious meal!

  10. June 2, 2010 8:15 pm

    Yeah, it’s good, very useful, thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. charley permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:44 pm

    I am very proud of you …need to learn more about braised cucs and chicken skin and leeks and vichys….whatever, but for now I need to figure out how to make my fingers(fingers?) smaller so this doesn’t tale me 40 minutes to write. Love you – charley


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