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No, I haven’t gotten an early start and begun slurring my words, at least not yet. Give me time…
Most of the stuff I make I either came up with myself or, in most cases, are existing recipes that I’ve tweaked and mauled to my liking. Today is going to be one of those. It’s also a return to the purpose of this blog as it’s stupid easy and pretty fast to throw together.
The inspiration came from Blighty’s version of Christina Hendricks:
That’s Nigella Lawson. She was, maybe still is, England’s First Lady of cooking shows. She had a little run in with the press a while back concerning an allegedly abusive husband and some…well…substance use issues. All that’s in the past and I’m sure she’s still doing her thing, just not too much on the TeeVee anymore. Call her fat and I’ll find where you live and drop a deuce on the hood of your car.
Well, since she cooks as a profession and is properly curvy, maybe she’s more of a Giada De Laurentiis:
Yeah those…um, sorry, them…I mean her dammit! Not bad, but that grill terrifies me. I can’t handle anyone sporting three rows of teeth. So I guess we’re back to Christina:
Who is the U.S. version of the Czech Republics Vica Kerekes, who’s gifs are legendary amongst the DFO faithful:
Ah yes, the gif that keeps on giffing. Scenes like that make me envy lesbians.
Wow, can I get off topic! I truly apologize for putting you through that. Anyway, on one of Nigella’s shows she made something called Spanish Chicken. It’s a baked dish made of whole chicken thighs, potatoes, onion and chorizo, among other things. The chorizo surprised me, because what she used on the show was nothing like the chorizo I know so well. I found out later that there are actually two (2) types of chorizo, Mexican and Spanish. Mexican chorizo is a fresh sausage, usually pork, heavily seasoned with paprika and spiked with vinegar. Usually sold loose, like hamburger, or cased in plastic tubes, it’s a popular Tex-Mex staple. I like it prepared the most common way, scrambled into eggs and wrapped in a tortilla. A puddle of orange-colored juice left on the plate means it was done right.
Spanish chorizo is a cured, dry sausage also with plenty of paprika and other spices. Same name, but two very different animals.
The first time I tried duplicating the dish I went ahead and used readily available Mexican chorizo. It was pretty good, but needed work. I didn’t like the whole chicken thighs, the skin is too limp to eat and added too much fat to the final product. I know bones add flavor, but this stuff is so heavily seasoned that’s a non-issue, so boneless, skinless thighs for me. The chorizo? It did it’s job, which is to give up up lots of juice to season everything else, but I needed the proper sausage, so it’s time to hunt some down and try again.
I found it, in the ethnic foods aisle. Since this is cured and dried it doesn’t need refrigeration, that’s why I couldn’t find it right away. I bought some, and being a good yankee doodle ‘murican boy I like to get more meat than called for. Problem one: Shit ain’t cheap, I spent way more than I should have. Problem two: Can you see the sodium level? That’s 730mg for one fucking 1.75 ounce sausage! That’s smaller than a dog turd you’d find at the bottom of Paris Hilton’s purse. I’m not about to preach healthy eating, I posted a recipe for SOS for Jeebus sakes. But it took the work of a very good cardiologist, some serious pharmaceuticals, and a change in diet to get my blood pressure to a survivable level. I won’t say I don’t fall off the sodium wagon now and then, but I almost stroked out just holding the package. I made it anyway. Better, but Dame Nobyl didn’t care for it. That’s not fair, because she deals with far more stress than I do (she’s married to me after all), but she has the BP of a Tibetan monk. I agreed none the less, so back to the cutting board.
Which brings us up to date, as you lucky folks get to join me for:
Third times a charm, let’s make this bitch work.
I did like the boneless thighs better, but that’s not a secret. I wanted to find find a better sausage that’s a little cheaper, easier to find, and won’t make one side of my face droop for the rest of my life. I’m trying this shit:
Ever had red beans and rice? If not, do so and you’ll likely find some of this amazing shit. Andouille sausage would be God’s sausage if God was Cajun…and liked good sausage. I got the mild, smoked version as my lady doesn’t do teh spicy. Happy wife, happy life…you know the drill.
Enough bullshit, let’s cook!
There is more than just protein in this, we’ll also need some spuds (figure out what kind from the pic), two red onions, a big orange (not all of it), and some olive oil, pepper and oregano.
I like a big foil roasting pan for this, less shit to wash later. Put this on a heavy sheet pan for better support, then drizzle a healthy amount of cheap olive oil all over the bottom:
Load up with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of the heavy chunks of fat. I fit in about a dozen or so. Roll each one around to coat with oil, adding more if necessary:
A little fresh ground pepper would be good, and maybe a tiny bit of salt. Go easy as most of the sodium will be courtesy of our Creole friend. Cut the sausage on the bias into big pieces. On the bias so it gives up some juice, big pieces so they don’t dry up too much. Follow with the onion, also cut up chunky:
Actually, I should have added the potatoes before the onion, but I’ll mix it up later so we should be good. I used that whole bag of Yukon Gold (sorry liter_cola, that’s not weed) and half the bag of the little red spuds, all well rinsed. The larger red ones I cut in half for even cooking.
Drizzle a little more oil, then sprinkle with a couple teaspoons of dried oregano and a little more pepper. Hold the salt for now. I didn’t forget about the orange. Wash the shit off of it and get ready to zest. No, not the fucking soap, zest is the orange skin with none of the bitter white shit under it. You can use a fine grater, but I like a bar zester like this:
Don’t know what I’m gonna do with that chorizo, my left arm got numb just looking at it. Anyway, scrape the fuck outta that orange until all the orangy shit is off of it and all over the taters. Mix the spuds, sausage and onions up a bit with your hands…
…then into a 425 deg oven. After 1/2 an hour, take out of the oven and use a baster to squirt the juice from the bottom of the pan all over the top, then turn the pan and back in the heat for another 30 min.
Remove and baste again. Check the biggest piece of potato for doneness, also give it a taste and add salt if necessary. Should look like this:
Give the whole mess a stir to even shit out. There’s a lot of liquid in there, so the chicken basically poached in some really flavorful juices. The result should be perfectly fork tender:
I forgot to take a plating shot, Yeah Right’s always look better anyway, but you can figure it out.
Guys, seriously try this shit as it takes damn near no time but really comes out great. Dame Nobyl wouldn’t touch the sausage (marriage will do that) as she had a preconceived notion to the spiciness, but when we warmed up the leftovers the next day, everything got a bit mellower. I actually liked it better reheated than the day it was made, but that happens.
Next week I’ll go back to ignoring my oven and return to the stove top, but with a twist…no frying pan!
See yuz then…