Crispy Chicken Thighs with Prunes

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Prunes

If you take nothing else from this recipe, take this: rub crispy chicken skin with grated garlic. It is SO incredible. I don’t have words! The rest of the prep and the sauce are also good, and the prunes provide a nice sweet kick, but seriously, the garlic on the chicken made this incredible. You have to do that part!

The sauce for these is a bit boozy even after a good boil, so if you don’t like that you may want to reduce the overall amount of brandy (replace with water!) or eliminate it entirely. I do like it, fortunately, so I found this quite tasty. The prunes get meltingly soft and almost burst in your mouth, too. The skin won’t hold up for leftovers, so I make the same recommendation for it that the original creator does: when you’re boxing up your leftovers, pull off the crispy skin, wrap a prune in it, and eat it!

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Prunes, scarcely adapted at all from Beyond Salmon

4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
3/4 c. water
2 Tbsp. brandy (or to taste)
12 prunes, pitted
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. oil
1 clove garlic, grated or pressed

Dry the chicken thighs and wrap any loose skin around them assertively. Salt like you mean it and let them sit at room temp for about an hour (or do this a day in advance and let them sit in the fridge, though I think they benefit from being a little warmer when they cook).

When you’re ready to start the cooking, mix the water and brandy in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Add in the prunes and nuke until it’s boiling, usually a couple minutes or so. Add the balsamic and soy sauce and let them hang out until you need ’em. Dry the chicken thighs again, too; the salt will pull out a lot of water and you want to get that off before the cooking.

Put a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add just enough oil to coat the bottom. When it starts shimmering and just begins to smoke, add the chicken, skin side down, drop the heat to medium, and slap a lid on it (or a pizza pan, if you don’t have an appropriate lid). Just let it sit for a few minutes; you want the skin to get brown and, well, crispy. After about ten minutes, pull the lid and crank the heat up again to finish crisping the skin. Drop the heat to low, flip the chicken, and cook for a minute or two to make sure it’s cooked through, then move the thighs to a plate and settle them in for a moment, skin side up.

Pour any fat left in the skillet out, pour the prunes and their liquid in, and crank up the heat to high. While it’s coming to a boil, grate the garlic and rub it on the chicken thighs, starting with the skin side so your fingers don’t get all juicy and soften up that skin. Boil the sauce down until it’s nice and syrupy, then reduce the heat to low and add the chicken (skin side up!) and the juices that accumulated on the plate. Swirl it around a bit to make sure the chicken is nice and warm and the chicken juices are incorporated in the sauce. Serve!


~ by iliadawry on 20 March 2013.

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