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Garlicky Chicken Thighs in Red Pepper Sauce

I recently picked up a copy of Fine Cooking Magazine, the Weeknight Dinner issue, and I have to say that it was a very wise purchase!  Most of the recipes are either naturally gluten-free (meaning no major substitutions are required), or are easily adaptable to be GF.

This recipe in particular caught my eye as I was perusing the entire issue at a recent UNM Lobo Football game (I went to Ohio State and it is just not the same kind of excitement, LOL!). ;-)  I had most of the ingredients on hand so I made it the following night for dinner, with only a couple of minor tweaks because I did not have the sherry vinegar.  My guys absolutely loved it and I even caught Sam going back to eat more of the sauce with a spoon!  The addition of the potato was a great way to thicken the sauce, naturally GF!  I will list the ingredients I used here, along with a few product/ingredient recommendations, but be sure to visit FineCooking.com (click here) for the full original recipe.

Garlicky Chicken Thighs in Red Pepper Sauce

2 Tbs. Olive Oil

8 bone-in, skin-on Chicken Thighs

Celtic Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

6 Cloves of Garlic, smashed and peeled

2 tsp. fresh Thyme

1 cup of Homemade or Reduced-Sodium Chicken Stock* (see notes below)

3 jarred Roasted Red Peppers, drained and cut into 1-inch strips

2 Yukon Gold Potatoes,* peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (See notes below)

1 Tbs. Dry Sherry* (see notes below)

1 Tbs. Champagne Vinegar* (see notes below)

  • Preheat oven to 425° F and position oven rack to the center of the oven.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in an oven proof saute pan (I used a cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat on the stove top until the oil is shimmering (but not smoking).
  • Season both sides of the the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  • Add a few of the thighs skin side down, to the hot pan.  Reduce heat to medium and cook without the pieces touching for approximately 3 minutes on the first side. Turn and cook about 1 minute more (Chicken Tips: Depending on the size of pan you use, do not add all of the chicken thighs at once, you do not want to crowd the chicken or it won’t brown up and get crispy.  Also, when you go to turn the meat over, if it resists pulling away from the pan, it’s not ready to turn yet, so be patient and give it a little more time.  Click here for a “How to Brown Chicken” tutorial on TLC Cooking). Transfer browned chicken to a paper towel-lined plate and continue browning the rest of the chicken.
  • Once all of the chicken has been browned and transferred to the plate, add the garlic and thyme to the pan and cook until the garlic is lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes  (don’t walk away from the garlic, you definitely don’t want it to burn because it will get bitter).
  • Add the dry sherry and champagne vinegar to the hot pan, this will deglaze the pan and pick up all the caramelized goodness stuck on the bottom (to learn more about deglazing, click here).
  • Add the chicken broth/stock, red pepper slices and potato cubes to the pan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, return chicken to the pan (skin side up) and transfer to the preheated oven.
  • Braise the chicken, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is completely cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Ingredient Notes:

Chicken Broth/Stock: I used Kitchen Basics, which is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and soy-free, so it is perfect for our family’s dietary needs.  Click here to check on other allergens in Kitchen Basics Stocks.  If you are up for making your own, my buddy Kim has a great recipe for homemade bone broth over at Cook It Allergy Free.

Yukon Gold Potatoes: I have switched from using Russet Potatoes after making Shauna and Danny’s Potato Puree (p. 43) of their new cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes.  Yukons have a wonderful natural buttery flavor to them, so they are perfect if you have a dairy and corn allergy and can’t use Earth Balance Buttery Spread as a dairy-free butter substitute. Yukons also make perfect mashed potatoes and I would definitely recommend getting a potato ricer.  Neither a potato masher or a mixer can produce as good of a mashed potato as a ricer!  I’ve had a few ricers over the years, but the one I use now, by OXO, is by far my favorite.  I will do an upcoming post on some of our favorite dairy/casein-free mashed potato recipes.

Sherry/Champagne Vinegar: The original recipe calls for Sherry Vinegar, but since I did not have any, I improvised with Dry Sherry and Champagne Vinegar (which is lighter and fruitier than distilled white or apple cider vinegar).

FineCooking.com is much more than just another website to get great recipes.  There are a lot of ‘how-to” videos and photo tutorials on how to cook, as well as helpful time/money-saving kitchen tips and tricks!  For example, I used to spend extra money for preseeded pomegranates until I saw this video tutorial on How to Seed a Pomegranate.

More helpful free videos from FineCooking.com:

How to Use Potato Ricers and Mashers

How to Slice, Dice or Chop an Onion

How to Trim Kale and Chard

How to Blanch and Parboil Vegetables

How to Prep a Turkey for Roasting

How to Make Caramel

If you join Fine Cooking’s Cooks Club, you will have unlimited access to recipes, menus, techniques, and videos, plus access to the current magazine issue online.  There is a fee for this, but they offer a free 14-day trial period so you can see if it is something you’ll like and actually use before having to pay for it (Disclaimer: I have not, and will not receive any compensation for this mention, I just found it to be a really useful learning tool for me). :-D

I have no professional culinary experience, nor did I grow up cooking in the kitchen with my mom.  Once I was out on my own, I either resorted to fast food or prepackaged convenience foods for pretty much every meal, but that all came to an abrupt end when I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005.  Back then, there wasn’t near the amount of gluten-free convenience foods on the market or gluten-free menus at restaurants, so I had a choice to make: either resign myself to eating plain meat, vegetables and fruit for the rest of my life, or learn how to cook more exciting meals from scratch!

I know that word ‘scratch’ might sound daunting to some, but eating gluten-free does not have to be as difficult or overwhelming as one might assume in the beginning (like I did).  I realize now that I spent way too much time and energy trying to recreate gluten-free versions of my old favorite gluten-filled packaged foods (like condensed soups and Goldfish-style crackers), instead of changing the way we eat.  While the copycat recipes can certainly be helpful during the gluten-free transition, or for when our kiddos are feeling left out around their peers, it would be nearly impossible to sustain that way of eating on a regular basis, especially if one ever plans on leaving the kitchen again! ;-)

Eating naturally gluten-free foods is not only all-around healthier, it saves a lot of time and money too.  The amount of money I spend on groceries has shrunk significantly over the past year, despite the fact that I am now buying more expensive free-range meats, including 100% grass-fed beef.  My current health issues notwithstanding, I have lost about 70 lbs, returned my extremely high cholesterol/triglyceride levels to normal (without medication), my high blood pressure has normalized and the abnormally high iron levels in my blood have returned to normal (after being on the rise for the past year).  The only thing I have done differently is slowly change the way I eat (and I do not count calories, fat grams, points, etc…my ADD won’t allow it, LOL!).

Something rather fascinating and positive is happening with my body chemistry, despite the fact that my doctors don’t believe it’s all been the result of more self-imposed dietary changes.  My endocrinologist still doesn’t believe that I never took the statin he prescribed me a year ago, heck, even I have had a heard time believing it, LOL!

I will be completely honest and sheepishly admit that it wasn’t long ago when I believed hidden food allergies/intolerances (IgG) and leaky gut syndrome were an alternative health gimmick (my MD’s would always dismiss it whenever I would ask their opinions).

Could food really have that much of an impact on our health?  Can the right diet actually prevent or reverse certain medical conditions (if caught in time)?  Can it really be as ‘simple’ as a change in the way we eat?

I can only speak for myself, but I no longer need to be convinced, the proof is in my lab work! ;-)

If you are interested in reading some published medical research on this subject, here are a couple of links to articles (from 1999) on The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology website (I am not advocating self-diagnosis, but I have found that taking copies of published medical research to our physicians helps me avoid the “don’t get your medical advice off the internet” lecture and my doctors have been more willing to run other tests that they wouldn’t have done otherwise):

Food Allergy Part 1: Immunopathogenesis and Clinical Disorders

Food Allergy Part 2: Diagnosis and Management

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Comments

  1. Mindy says:

    Thank you very much for the links to the scientific articles (at the bottom of your post). I found it very interesting that the second article only mentions celiac very briefly (avoid gluten for the rest of one's life), whereas the first has a lot more information on the problem.

    Also, regarding avoiding allergens, I believe that the discussion of treatment (keep allergens out of the diet) is far too pessimistic, seemingly assuming that the difficulties are too hard for many to overcome and warning that restrictions can lead to malnutrition and/or anorexia.

    It acknowledges that our culture is severely reliant on processed foods but it does not point out that support in changing one's diet to a whole foods concept could be essential to dealing with the problem. It merely points out that dealing with labels is difficult because of the many guises an allergen can have.

    • Mindy,

      Good eye! I saw that in the second article and it really struck me too, especially considering what I went through to get to where I am today: a MUCH healthier attitude about food than I had several years ago.

      It's a vicious cycle that many of us find ourselves on, between social situations (which can be extremely isolating for some people on specialized diets who lack consideration and support from family and friends), the constant unhealthy food ads targeted at children in the media, schools having poor meal programs (or in my case, the school doing entirely too many food related "projects"), medical doctors being many years behind the current science of food allergies/intolerances and their related health conditions, etc. etc.

      Support is so so important, which is why the online gluten-free and food allergy community has become so important to me! :-D

  2. Jessica says:

    That looks SO Good!!!!

  3. Jeri says:

    This recipe looks delicious Heidi – thighs are my favorite part of the chicken.

    Thank you for all your additional information. It is really helping me grow as I get used to my new diagnosis. I'm getting bold too. We've had to eat out a lot this week and I've been pleased with how nice the restaurants have been. A chef came to my table last night with the nutrition book for the whole menue and went through it with me. Today is my dd 12th birthday and she wants to go to Spaghetti Factory (she doesn't even eat noodles). They have a gf menu. I saw on their website they use DeBoles. I just sent corporate an email because since the Tinkiyada company came out that seems to be a favorite over most other brands out there. I asked them to consider researching and consider updating the product they are using in their restaurants. I don't think I would have been this bold so early had I not read your blog. Thank you.

    • Jeri,

      LOL! I LOVE it! I did that too a while back, at Bravo, they were using DeBoles as well and I told them they should look into carrying Tinkyada! Hey, it never hurts to ask! ;-)

      P.S. I have become a chicken thigh person too, much more juicy!

      Hugs,
      Heidi

  4. Heidi

    Go Bucks! I love Fine Cooking, too. That is a gorgeous shot of those chicken thighs. You do such a great job of serving up delicious food along with a helping of important scientific info and your personal experiences. Every post is packed with good stuff.

    Wendy

    • Wendy,

      Thanks you sweetie! You'll have to thank my ADD for that, I am always astonished at all the tangents I can take in one post…just how does a chicken thigh recipe turn into sharing medical research from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology? Oye! :-D

      Go Bucks!!

  5. I completely agree with you- food really can have that much impact on our health! A bit scary actually…

    Great to read you're an OSU alum. I just graduated from Ohio State this past June. GO BUCKS!

  6. Amanda T says:

    This looks sooo good! No one else in my house eats chicken but me (thighs are the best!) so I know if I make it I will get the whole pan to myself! LOL!

    I used to use the Tinkyada noodles in my lasagna until my son got a tummy bug after eating them and now I cant bring myself to use them. Something about the smell…enough said. I use the quinoa pasta and LOVE it. They are so good I just toss them with olive oil, garlic, grape tomatoes, basil, crushed red pepper, and parm cheese. YUMMY! Oppss…I guess if one has a corn allergy as well, those would not work. I belive they mix it with corn.

    I had no idea Spaghetti Factory had GF menu. I used to go there a lot when I lived in Utah. I think we only have a few in the Seattle area though. Might have to check that out. =)

  7. Jeri says:

    Heidi,

    My update (LOL) on Spaghetti Factory is that it was a very tasty meal. I was pleased. I double-checked that the noodles are cooked in separate water/pot and was told yes. No croutons on my salad. I teased the waiter though when he brought their delicious bread and butter because he had the nerve to set it right between me and my husband. It was the first time I wasn't able to partake:( I am like you though and I don't get classic symptoms so I wouldn't have known if I ate gluten anyways. I'm going to make those thighs this weekend:)

  8. Kahri says:

    The food looks great but I had to laugh at the Lobos comment. Being an alumni, I totally agree! And with their season this year…who can blame anyone!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by sean walker, Heidi Kelly. Heidi Kelly said: New Blog Post Garlicky Chicken Thighs in Red Pepper Sauce http://goo.gl/fb/8mXha #dinner [...]

  2. [...] Garlicky Chicken Thighs in a Red Pepper Sauce was very good, and it was very easy to make.  Unfortunately my picture did not turn out as well as Heidi’s, so for the tantalizing photo of the dish, I suggest you go to Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, and check it out.  But here is my try at it. Garlic Chicken Thighs in Red Pepper Sauce [...]

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