The first time I watched food geek Alton Brown on television, I didn’t know what to make of him. Was he a lunatic or a genius? I have since watched every single episode of Good Eats, and I came to the correct and only conclusion: GENIUS.
I laugh out loud every single time I watch. I laugh and more importantly, I learn. I think my favorite episode is his grilling episode, where he dresses up in an aluminum foil suit and walks across a giant bed of simulated coals while talking about grilling. Again, pure GENIUS.
Tomorrow is Mr Brown’s 51st birthday, and so in his honor I am posting my version of his Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs. This dish is pure Alton Brown genius – a little cooking science and a whole lot of classic homey goodness.
His dish is designed to allow the chicken juices to drip down on the vegetables, yet allow the chicken to crisp on top. Like I said, sheer GENIUS. MY version is done in a pot and collects more of the juices, which I made into a sauce right before serving. Also, I deleted the green olives, one of the few foods I just don’t like. At all.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Brown, and may you live and cook forever!
— posted by Donna
SMOKED PAPRIKA CHICKEN
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 of a small fennel bulb
1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla
8 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
3 tablespoons unsalted clarified butter, softened
1 large shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons smoked paprika, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed into 1/2 cup of water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush oil on a large heavy Dutch oven, such as cast iron. Slice potatoes, fennel and onion into half moon slices that are a little thicker than 1/4 inch. Toss slices with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread the slices in the Dutch oven.
Mix together the clarified butter, shallot, garlic, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of the paprika. Using your fingers, spread a scant 1 tablespoon of butter mixture under the skin of each chicken thigh. Place thighs on top of vegetables in Dutch oven, skin side up. Mix together the remaining 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika and the olive oil. Brush mixture on the skins of the chicken thighs.
Bake uncovered for 60 minutes.
Remove chicken and vegetables to a serving platter. Place Dutch oven on stove top and turn on medium high heat. Whisk in the cornstarch liquid and simmer until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Serve immediately.
Some fabulous blogger’s spins on Alton Brown dishes:
And the best encounter between a food blogger and Mr Brown is here.