Get Cooking: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Braised Cucumbers
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”. 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 happens 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!