The inspiration for this recipe of Roasted Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Arugula came from a Melissa Clark recipe in The New York Times several weeks ago. However, I have changed it big time, making it more of roasted chicken and potatoes atop a salad of arugula as opposed to a few arugula leaves scattered on top.You probably know by now, I love warm things atop greens.
I prepared this for a dinner party Friday night in the city. Throwing a party on a Friday night is a great way to start the weekend! First of all, your guests are really excited that the week is over and they can truly relax because a Saturday sleep-in is possible. The noise level was intense. Of course that may have had something to do with the whiskey tasting that was going on. But that’s what I mean, that would have never gone on on a school night!
The beauty of this dish is that you do most of the work in the morning, marinating the chicken and potatoes in the harissa, olive oil and cumin, and the rest is easy. I even washed my arugula, tomatoes and dill in the morning, and let it get good and dry by laying it out on a clean counter before putting it in a plastic bag with a few paper towels to wick up the extra moisture that would form from being in the fridge. I had help from one guest to make the yogurt dressing, and voila, we had dinner!
Our oldest son has a friend who loves yogurt on EVERYTHING!! He would clearly LOVE this dish. He is half Austrian and half Turkish, mainly raised in Turkey. I always want to have yogurt on hand for him, and Zach says, “NO, not necessary, serve the dinner how you want … ” So he would really love this dish.
The day before New Year’s Eve, I had made a big pot of pea soup, so I froze half of that and used it to start the dinner. With light appetizers, just nuts and a smoked salmon tartare in phyllo shells, starting with a slightly heavier soup worked out just fine.
I hope you try this dish. It’s got a lot going for it. The spiciness of the harissa on the chicken and potatoes, mixed with the creamy yogurt dressing atop the cool arugula and every once in a while you get a hit of dill, it’s delicious!!
Easy, delicious and different – all that I’m after!
ROASTED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH POTATOES AND ARUGULA – serves 8
10 chicken thighs with skin and bones, fat and extra skin removed
2 ¼ pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes, (creamers), cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 ½ tsp. Kosher salt, more as needed
½ tsp. black pepper, more as needed
6 Tbs. harissa (or use another thick hot sauce, such as sriracha)
1 heaping Tbs. ground cumin
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed, divided
5 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
Lemon zest (from 2 large lemons), divided
1 heaping cup plain Greek yogurt
3 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
Juice from one large lemon
10 oz. baby arugula, washed, air dried and chilled
21 cherry tomatoes
Chopped fresh dill, as needed
Combine chicken and potatoes in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together harissa, cumin and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Pour over chicken and potatoes and toss well to combine. Let it marinate up to 12 hours in the refrigerator or in a pinch, at room temperature for 30 minutes. If you have refrigerated it, let it stand at room temperature for one hour before roasting. While it’s marinating, if you can, toss and mix it up every so often.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine leeks, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and the remaining ¼ cup of oil.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange chicken (skin side up) and potatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes. Toss potatoes lightly. Scatter leeks over pan. Roast until chicken and potatoes are cooked through and everything is golden and slightly crisped, 25 to 30 minutes longer.
While chicken cooks, place yogurt in a small bowl. Grate garlic over yogurt and season to taste with salt and pepper. Thin with lemon juice from one large lemon. Zest another large lemon over the yogurt. Mix with a whisk to combine all.
To serve, place arugula evenly over a large platter. Distribute chicken and potatoes over all. Drizzle all pan juices on top. Spoon yogurt over chicken and vegetables. Scatter the dill and cherry tomatoes over all.
For dessert, I served a platter of Christmas cookies – date bars, pecan crisps, bourbon balls, and Hello Dolly squares – along with a touch of ice cream and strawberries.
Make this tonight! Perfect for a Sunday night dinner. Serve this magnificent colorful platter with LOVE. Your family or guests will love you back big time – guaranteed!
Funny, I don’t know about you other bloggers but I always seem to write better posts if I write them and then let them simmer a bit so I can think of other tidbits I want to add or embellish on and then have the time to do that before I actually post. How about you?
Many thanks to our friends, Sumantra and Indrani Sen for taking some of these pictures!