Ina knocks one out of the park again with this chicken dinner. It’s a complete meal on one platter and it’s super delicious. I wish more cookbook authors would test their recipes as thoroughly as the Barfoot Contessa. It’s reassuring to know that you can pick any of Ina’s recipes and, if you follow her instructions, end up with a fabulous dish. Having said that I did improvise a little with this recipe. Instead of using wine in the marinade I used buttermilk (actually I used cream with a splash of lemon juice to replicate buttermilk as I didn’t have any) – I wanted to really tenderise the chicken and the sturdier nature of buttermilk meant the breadcrumbs attached better to the chicken. I also used mainly fresh bread crumbs instead of Panko and I think it delivered more crunch. My husband declared this one of his all time favourite meals. There’s something about the vinaigrette over the salad leaves and potatoes and the crispy crumbed chicken pieces that makes this meal both comforting and elegant.
Ingredients – serves 2-3 (I made it for the two of us and the small amount of leftovers were delicious)
Adapted from Ina Garten’s cookbook, Cook Like a Pro
2 garlic cloves
1½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves – I used a couple of tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh bread crumbs and ¼ cup Panko crumbs
1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon zest
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup good Dijon mustard
½ cup of buttermilk, you can sub with cream and a splash of lemon juice if you don’t have buttermilk
4 large skin-on chicken thighs
750g fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
300g baby frisée or chicory salad greens – I used mixed salad leaves and tried to find a mixed pack that used sturdier varieties
¼ cup minced shallots
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup good olive oil
1 tablespoon good Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C
To make the vinaigrette place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined and emulsified.
Place the garlic, thyme (or parsley), 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the garlic is finely minced. Add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the butter and pulse a few times to moisten the crumbs. Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the mustard and buttermilk.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then place them in the buttermilk mixture making sure the marinade is all over the chicken and leave for 30 minutes (you can leave them for longer in the fridge if you like but just make sure you bring them to room temperature for dipping and cooking).
Whilst the chicken is marinating wash the potatoes well and halve them lengthways. Place in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Cook until just tender then drain and spread on a sheet pan with 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
After the marinade time is up dip each thigh on the skin side only in the crumb mixture, pressing gently to make the crumbs adhere. After the first couple of pieces I found it easer to just pat the crumbs onto the chicken. Place the chicken on a sheet pan, crumb side up, and press any remaining crumbs onto the chicken.
Roast the chicken and potatoes for 40 to 50 minutes, turning the potatoes once during roasting. The chicken and potatoes should be done at the same time. Ina places the chicken and potatoes on the same sheet pan which makes for easier clean up but I used two separate pans.
Meanwhile, place the greens on a serving platter. When the chicken and potatoes are done, toss the salad with enough vinaigrette to moisten and place the chicken and potatoes on top, adding any crumbs from the sheet pan. Sprinkle the remaining vinaigrette over the potatoes and serve straight away.