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Chicken Dinner for One

The chicken is a new recipe for me, inspired from the one below. I adapted it to accommodate chicken thighs for one person rather than a whole bird for four people.

The sprouts with fish sauce have been in my repertoire for a while, ever since the first time I made them and my son said that he did not think that I had it in me to make Brussels sprouts taste so good. He meant it as a compliment but the phrasing made me want to hit him upside the head. Violent impulses aside, these Brussels sprouts are really good - caramelized in places, pleasantly nutty and soft in others; beautifully offset by the acidity of the lemon and the funk of fish sauce, which in turn work really well with the garlic and anchovies used in the chicken.

And, since I wanted some additional color and different textures with my meal, adding some pepper and onions as well made sense with the flavor palates of both the chicken and the sprouts.

Quite frankly, the vegetables are delicious enough in their own right that you could even have this dish without the chicken, on top of couscous for example, if you so chose.

1 or 2 chicken thighs (depending on your appetite), skin-on and bone-in

1/3 lb Brussels sprouts

1/3 cup assorted peppers, cut into bite-sized cubes

2 Tbsps red onion, sliced into half moons

1 clove garlic, finely diced (or more if you like garlic)

3 anchovies, finely chopped

1 tsp hot pepper (I used a fully ripe red Jalapeno), finely chopped

2 tsps fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped

11/2 tsps olive oil

1 tsp fish sauce

Juice from half a lemon

Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400.

While the oven is preheating, chop the garlic, anchovies and oregano leaves. Rub your chicken thigh(s) with a bit of salt and press some of the anchovy, garlic and oregano leaves onto the skin. Heat half a teaspoon of the oil in an oven-safe skillet and, as soon as the oil shimmers, place the chicken, skin side down in the pan. Lower the heat and let the fat render from the skin and the skin get crispy while you prep your vegetables.

Chop your peppers and onion. Prep your Brussels sprouts - cut off the ends, remove any outer leaves that seem tough or are blemished, cut the largest ones in half so that everything is approximately the same size.

Lift the chicken out of the pan. Add all of the vegetables and the remaining olive oil. Stir well to combine, using your spoon to try to get all of the crispy bits up from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the remaining anchovies, garlic and oregano leaves, salt lightly, and return the chicken to the pan on top of all of the vegetables, this time skin side up.

On or around this point, your oven should beep that it is done with preheating. Place your pan in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, stirring the vegetables at the halfway mark to ensure even cooking.

Remove the pan from the oven and set the chicken aside on a plate. Drizzle the vegetables with the fish sauce and the lemon juice. Toss quickly to combine and check for seasoning.

You will end up with crispy skinned chicken, unctuous vegetables, and a silky, aromatic gravy to mop up with good bread, or let run into a mound of herbed couscous.

This is a twenty six minute and forty seven second to the table meal, of which twenty minutes the dish was unattended.


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