fall essentials: spicy chicken w/ tomatoes & rice

ThePretentiousChef avatar
By Andy Anderson !
from Wichita, KS

Yesterday (Sunday), everyone absconded down to the river (except me) to watch what is called the Frostbite Regatta. The problem is that the temperature was almost 75f… not very “frostbite” to me. So, they decided to make a day of it. They are eating at the food trucks parked there for the event, and will not be home for a few more hours So, I worked on a new recipe for my home-alone dinner, and this is what I came up with. Totally awesome flavors, and I suspect it will be on our holiday rotation. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

serves 2
prep time 15 Min
cook time 40 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For fall essentials: spicy chicken w/ tomatoes & rice

  • PLAN/PURCHASE
  • THE CHICKEN
  • 2 md
    chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
  • 2 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • DRY SPICE MIX
  • 1 tsp
    smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp
    salt, kosher variety, fine grind
  • 1/8 tsp
    ground ginger
  • 1 - 2 pinch
    cayenne pepper
  • WET INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 c
    filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp
    tomato paste
  • 14 oz
    diced tomatoes, 1 can, with juice
  • OPTIONAL ITEMS
  • 1 Tbsp
    worcestershire
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How To Make fall essentials: spicy chicken w/ tomatoes & rice

  • 1
    PREP/PREPARE
  • 2
    You will need an ovenproof skillet with a lid to make this recipe. Conversely, you could use a glass baking dish covered with foil.
  • 3
    To Brine or Not to Brine Brining the chicken thighs is optional; however, in this recipe I think it worked out for the better. If you have the time, fill a bowl with cold water, and dissolve a few tablespoons of kosher salt. Add the thighs and stick it in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours. Then remove, give them a quick rinse, and follow the recipe as written.
  • 4
    The Chicken I suspect that just about any type of chicken would work in this recipe, dark or light meat, bone-in or out, skin-on or off.
  • 5
    Homemade Worcestershire Looking for a good Worcestershire without anchovies? It is easy/peasy to make and tastes like the real thing. So yummy. https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/sauce-spread/other-sauce-spread/diy-essentials-homemade-worcestershire-sauce.html?r=1
  • 6
    This will store in the fridge (covered) for 3 – 4 days. Just gently heat up in the oven, and you are ready to go.
  • 7
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 8
    Mix all the dry spices together in a small bowl.
  • 9
    Sprinkle a generous amount of the spice mix onto the skin side of the chicken thighs and let them rest for about 10 minutes.
  • 10
    Place a rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350f (175c).
  • 11
    While the chicken is taking a nap, melt the butter in a skillet over medium low heat, until the foaming stops.
  • 12
    When regular butter stops foaming, it means all the water has been removed through the process of evaporation. Eliminating all the water will help the skin on the chicken get nice and crispy.
  • 13
    Increase the heat to medium high, wait a minute and then add the chicken, skin side down.
  • 14
    When the chicken hits the hot butter, you should hear a nice sizzle, and it will stick to the bottom of the pan. Leave them alone. After the first 2 – 3 minutes, use a pair of tongs to try to gently lift the chicken. If it still sticks, wait another 30 or so seconds and try again. When the chicken has crisped, it will easily release without any sticking. The whole process should take somewhere between 3 – 5 minutes, depending on the heat of your pan.
  • 15
    While the chicken is cooking, sprinkle more of the dry spice mix on the bottom side of the thighs.
  • 16
    When they are ready, turn them over, and cook for an additional 3 – 4 minutes.
  • 17
    Remove the chicken and turn the skillet down to medium low.
  • 18
    Whisk the tomato paste and water together (if you are using the Worcestershire add now).
  • 19
    Add it to the skillet, then use a whisk or wooden spoon to scrape up all the brown bits (fonds) on the bottom of the pan and dissolve them into the liquid.
  • 20
    Add the diced tomatoes, stir, and bring up to a slow simmer.
  • 21
    Nest the chicken into the sauce.
  • 22
    Cover and place into the preheated oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, uncover, and bake an additional 20 minutes.
  • 23
    PLATE/PRESENT
  • 24
    Add some of the yummy sauce to a plate, nest one of the chicken thighs on top, and serve with your favorite sides (I prefer steamed jasmine rice sprinkled with some of the dry spice mix). Enjoy.
  • 25
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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