Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs with Tomatillo Salsa Verde and Jicama Salad


Combining ingredients for world's easiest, all-purpose tomatillo sauce. Please use it with and on everything.

Soul-saving meal of chicken thighs, roasted veggies, salad, rice, toasted tortillas, jicama salad and tomatillo salsa.

Do you believe how easy this is? Place in a saucepan the following and bring to a boil over high heat: 1 lb. tomatillos (husked and cut in halves), 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1-2 t. minced garlic, 1-2 serrano or jalapeno peppers (roughly chopped), 2-3 T. chopped cilantro, 1 T. fresh oregano ( about half the amount if using dried), 1/2 t. ground cumin, 1 1/2 t. (minimum) salt, a grinding of black pepper and 2 cups water. When boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until tomatillos have softened completely. Allow to cool for a few minutes before blending to a smooth texture. Good to go now but flavors only improve overnight in the fridge.

Jicama salads at Cafe Drake HRV are constantly morphing, sometimes sweeter, sometimes fiery hot, often salty, never boring. This is fool-proof: peel 1 jicama and then cut into matchstick pieces. Toss with lime juice and salt to taste. Sprinkle bravely with chile powder and dried red pepper flakes. taste for seasoning and if too sour and/or hot sweeten the mix with up to 2 tablespoons of honey. Sliced green apples and scallions are welcome anytime.

No brainer and stress free: preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs on large cooking sheet and season aggressively with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle over the skin equal parts smoked and sweet paprikas. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes or until skin is dark and crispy. The meat should be cooked through but still very moist and juicy.


Whenever the ovens at Cafe Drake HRV get as hot as 450 degrees F. we make them perform double duty, i.e. roasting a load of carrots and onions along with the chicken thighs. Placing vegetables directly underneath poultry pieces allows them to absorb rendered chicken fat and mind-blowing flavors.

We couldn't wait for leftovers the following afternoon!



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