Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spicy Chicken Thighs with Rhubarb-Cucumber Salsa

My favorite produce stand, the Yakima Fruit Market and Nursery, finally opened for the season and
we've been filling our fridge drawers to literally overflowing every week. Last week I spotted their first crop of rhubarb and immediately thought of this dish. It's a perfect meal for either spring or summer and comes together quickly with just a little chopping. The cool salsa is a great contrast to the spicy sauce on the chicken. I've always loved the nice kick the habanero chile gives the sauce. Tonight I didn't have any habernos handy so I just used a jalapeno instead. I'm pretty sure my girls said a silent prayer of thanks (they are always requesting I make things "less spicy next time"). The jalapeno version turned out much milder which was great for the kids but personally I missed the heat so I'd say go for the habanero or a few jalapenos if you're like me and think spice is nice. It's rhubarb season which probably means a pie post is soon to follow!

Spicy Chicken Thighs with Rhubarb-Cucumber Salsa
(From Bon Appetit Magazine)

1 habanero, Scotch bonnet, or Thai chile, with seeds, stemmed (or 1 jalapeno if you don't want much kick)
2 garlic cloves
2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts divided
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
6 large skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch cubes rhubarb
1 cup 1/4-inch cubes unpeeled seeded English hothouse cucumber
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 500°. Line a baking sheet with foil. Pulse chile, garlic, and white parts of scallions in a food processor until finely chopped. With machine running, drizzle in soy sauce, then olive oil; process until emulsion forms. Transfer sauce to a bowl.

Place chicken thighs, skin side up, on a work surface and slash each crosswise at 3/4-inch intervals down to the bone. Season lightly with salt. Place on prepared baking sheet and brush with sauce. Bake until skin is crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 20–25 minutes. Broil on high for an additional 2–3 minutes for crisper skin, if desired. Let rest for 5–10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss rhubarb, next 5 ingredients, and green parts of scallions in a medium bowl to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let stand for at least 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Serve chicken with rhubarb salsa alongside.
Serves 4

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posted by kelsie