The other day I was stuck for almost an hour in rush hour traffic… on my scooter… in the middle of a thunderstorm.
It was every bit as miserable as that sounds. Needless to say I had a lot of time to contemplate dinner and eventually came up with this: the ultimate hearty-comfort-food warm-up-your-weary-bones meal.
You can substitute the Brussels sprouts for any other green side dish, but I find these flavours really complement each others. Also Brussels sprouts are delicious. Delicious, I tell you!
Zesty chicken thighs with baby potatoes & sprouts:
(Makes 2 servings)
- 4 chicken thighs bone in skin on
- brine made of
- 4 tbsp kosher salt
- 4-6 cups or water
- 1 lb petite potatoes – I prefer them because they’re cute and the medley adds some colour; if you’re boring and don’t like eating cute things, you may use a regular russet potato.
- 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 medium white onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 tsps salt
- 3 tsps pepper
- 2 tsps paprika
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 lemon
- hot sauce of your choosing, I use this stuff because it just adds heat without extra taste
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 2 tbsp chicken broth
- corn starch & broth or water mixture; this is to thicken the gravy you’ll really have to eyeball the consistency.
Preheat oven at 400.
Soak the chicken thighs in a brine mixture using the kosher salt for 20 minutes. Make sure they are almost covered in water.
Cut your cute potatoes in half. Or cut your big ugly potato into rough 1-2″ pieces. Put it in a ziploc bag, add one tablespoon of olive oil and half of all the spices. Shake. Set aside.
Cut the Brussels sprouts in half. Set aside.
Slice up the lemon. Set aside as well.
Chop the garlic and onion as small as you can; a food processor helps. Mix in the other half of all the spices.
Drain the thighs and pat dry. Gently lift the skin off each piece to form a little pocket. Stuff it with the garlic & onion paste.
Heat up a pan on medium high with 1 tbsp of oil and swirl it around to get some coverage. Place the thighs skin down and sear for 3 minutes. Remove. Save the pan drippings.
Transfer the thighs to a large over safe dish, place a lemon slice on each. Spread the potatoes around.
Place the dish in the oven and bake for 40 mins or until juices run clear and the potatoes are soft.
Remove chicken pieces from the oven. Save the pan drippings. Lay out the thighs on a foil lined pan and brush with hot sauce. Return to oven for 5 minutes of low broiling action.
Make a gravy out of the pan juices by just thickening it with a tiny bit of corn starch. Pro-tip: always pre-dissolve your corn starch in a shot glass of warm water so it’s perfectly smooth. I also find whisking gravy works great to keep the lumps out.
Meanwhile bring the contents of the frying pan from earlier to medium heat, melt the butter and evenly sprinkle the sugar; then arrange the Brussels sprout halves in a single layer. Let the undersides caramelize a little.
Add a splash of broth. Cover for 3 minutes to steam and once tender remove from heat.
Plate Brussels sprouts and sprinkle with Parmesan, add a few potatoes and the thigh pieces and drizzle with gravy.