The beginning of the new year is a time for clearing out the old and bringing in the new. You know... your freezer, your fridge, and your pantry. Over the holidays I accumulated a lot of ingredients: antipasto, cheeses, fresh herbs, various loaves of bread, and some odds and ends in my freezer.
Giada's recipe for Crispy Chicken Thighs with Peppers and Capers is a fabulous way to use up all those bits and pieces, while also eating more healthfully.
This chicken dish is inspired by Peperonata, a classic Italian dish consisting of sauteed peppers olives, and capers that melts in your mouth. This classic combination of flavors is the perfect bed for crispy chicken thighs. Make sure to get the chicken crackly and delicious by searing them in a very hot pan for a full 8 minutes - you are looking for a dark golden brown. You want the texture of the crispy skin against the tender meat with the melt-in-your-mouth flavors of the Peperonata. This dish tastes as delicious as it smells!
Crispy Chicken Thighs with Peppers and Capers
Adapted from Giada's Italy
by Giada De Laurentiis
1/4 cup olive oil
4 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 anchovy fillet or 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced into thin strips
1 shallot, diced small
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 425F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Dry the chicken very well with paper towels and season evenly on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the thighs in the hot pan, skin-side down, and cook without moving for about 8 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Flip the thighs and cook an additional 3 minutes. Transfer the thighs to a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160F.
While the chicken roasts, place the same pan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the anchovy and mash it with the back of a wooden spoon until it dissolves into the oil. Add the bell pepper and salt, to taste, to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, until cooked through and soft. Stir in the shallots and cook an additional minute. Add the olives, capers, and oregano to the pan and stir to combine.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the pepper mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the bread crumbs have soaked up all the flavored oil. Cook, stirring constantly until the bread crumbs are toasted and the flavors have married, about another 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Spoon the bread crumb mixture onto a platter. Top with the chicken thighs and drizzle with any accumulated juices from the baking sheet.