While I certainly haven't been blogging this last two weeks plus, I have been doing a bit of cooking. I've a backlog of "recipes to try" that would keep a small country fed for a year. Tonight's recipe is courtesy of Jacques Pepin, chicken thighs in a spicy tomato/vinegar sauce.
6 large, bone-in, skinned chicken thighs (if you insist, you can use breasts, or even boneless, skinless breasts, but honestly, learn to eat dark meat - it is so much more flavorful, and thighs are actually easy to eat with a knife and fork off the bone)
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or 1/4 cup vinegar and no wine)
2 tablespoons dry white wine
8 ounces tomato sauce (or 3/4 cup tomato puree)
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon Tobasco sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Sprinkle both sides of chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add thighs, cover and cook five minutes. Turn, cover and cook an additional 10 - 15 minutes, reducing heat and turning as needed, until done (check near the bone - for more even cooking, before putting them in the pan, make a 1/2" cut on the backside of the thigh on each side of the bone, not going all the way through). Remove from pan and put somewhere to keep warm.
Add garlic to pan drippings and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds, without browning. Deglaze pan with vinegar and wine, stirring to melt the solidified juices. Cook 1 to 2 minutes; most of the liquid should have evaporated. Add water and tomato sauce and bring to boil over high heat. Cover and boil 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper, Tabasco and tarragon. Spoon sauce over the chicken and serve.
Diane's take: The tang from the vinegar and the heat of the Tabasco combine to give you spicy, but not overly so (maybe my Tobasco is old - I put in closer to two teaspoons). Don't skip the fresh tarragon - it adds needed depth.
I wasn't sure I'd like bone-in chicken with a sauce on it, but as I said above, chicken thighs, having pretty much just the one, round bone, are very easy to eat with a knife and fork. They also cook up very juicy and flavorful. There was rather a lot of chicken juice/rendered chicken fat in my pan when I took the thighs out; though I left it in the pan, the sauce wasn't unduly greasy. My one change would be to serve this with something to soak up more of the sauce - rice, couscous or some other grain. While I made oven baked fries, they didn't soak up as much of the sauce as I'd have liked.
This is a keeper.