Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Vinegar Caper berry and Onion Gravy served with Smokey Mashed Potatoes and Braised Red Cabbage

I LOVE CHICKEN THIGHS!!!! There I said it. I do. Give me the moist meaty goodness of a thigh any day to the dry and chewy mass of breast meat that is served everywhere. YES YES YES!!!

So this recipe came about because one day my artist friend Angelo Musco and his partner Tim were coming over to dinner and I had to make something quick and on the fly. I love cooking for these two because I know if I cook once I will get an invite to their house for a trade in delicious dining and wine drinking! And what yummy things they have made for me. Some of my favorite pastas that I will share on here had their start on the Musco table.

Ok so as I said, I had to come up with a dinner plan pretty fast one day because we agreed late in the day that I would be cooking! What to make on the spur?  I had been reading about this chicken dish that some chef in NYC had done with leeks and such and I thought, OK sure a fanciful chicken dish,  why not! The problem was I am not a big chicken dish aficionado. I did know one dish from home that my Grandmother used to fix. It was a chicken braised in a onion sauce that was thickened at the end with sour cream and was served with rice. You know.....chicken and rice.

Well I did not want to serve that exactly. So between my reading about the chef with the leeks and thinking about my Grandmother with the sour cream sauce. I decided that a sauce with sour notes and an onion flavor would make a good contrast to the rich meat of the chicken thighs I was going to use. Thus, this dish was born.

I also wanted to serve it with some good sides that would stand up to the rich sour taste of the chicken as it melted into them. So I chose smokey mashed potatoes (yum)  and braised red cabbage.

So for this recipe you will need:

8 boneless Chicken thighs with or without the skin
1/2 cup seasoned flour ( flour to which a table spoon of black pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder has been added
5 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 large onions sliced into circles and rings
5 garlic cloves sliced thinly
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock or broth
1/2 jar Caper berries cut in half
 3 tablespoons butter


In a large frying pan heat 3 tablespoons of butter and add onions cook till browned and soft.

In an oven proof skillet heat 5 tablespoons of oil
pat chicken dry and dredge in the flour
lay the chicken skin side down in the pan and let cook till golden and crispy 5 mins or so
turn over and place into a 375 drgree oven to finish cooking for about 6 to 7 mins
When done place back on stove and remove chicken hold warm.
Return the pan to high heat and when hot pour vinegar into pan  whisking and deglaze pan
be sure to get all the browned bits up off the bottom.
Reduce vinegar by 1/2 , add chicken stock or broth.
Bring to boil again and reduce by half again, reduce heat.
whisk in remaining butter  caper berries and stir in onions.

Place chicken on plate and spoon sauce over it. Serve with Potatoes and Braised Red Cabbage.

Smoky Mashed: Believe me SOOOOO good! ( I use this recipe a lot)

6 large yellow potatoes diced skin on
2 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup Milk
salt and pepper to taste
3 teaspoons of liquid smoke


Boil potatoes with the garlic and thyme in sea salty water ( tastes like sea water it's so salty)
When soft ( a fork pierces them easily) drain into a bowl and mash in the butter and the milk, adding a little milk at a time until you get the right consistently( Don't over mash or your potatoes will get too gummy from the starch) . Add salt and pepper to taste
Then add the liquid smoke 1 teaspoon at a time till you get to the smokiness you like. I like mine pretty smoky. ( just be careful there is a fine line with liquid smoke between just right and too much!!)

Braised Red Cabbage

1 head red cabbage shredded
2 large red onions finely diced
1 gloves garlic minced
2 tablespoon oil
6 pieces bacon finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 cups cheap red wine
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons lingonberry jam
1/8 cup beet juice for color I like it really vibrant  ( you can use food coloring but ew!)

In a oven ready braising pot:
Turn heat on under cold pan and place bacon in bring to medium heat.
Allow the bacon to render its fat and cook till browned
Add butter and melt
Add onions and cook till soft and translucent
Add garlic cook till it blooms but not browns.
Add the cabbage and cook stirring slowly allowing to combine and wilt.
season at this point to taste
Once wilted and seasoned add liquids
Stir to combine
Taste a again and season more if necessary
Place into the oven and bake for 45 mins to an hour or till liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally

Remove and serve warm with the potatoes and the chicken

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