In the kitchen today, I made Shaye Elliott’s Paprika and Rosemary Roasted Chicken from her cookbook, Family Table. You can also purchase it from her blog, The Elliott Homestead, here. (Family Table was my cookbook selection for January 2017, in addition to Jerusalem).
Shaye grows all her own produce and raises all her own meat. Her cookbook is not fussy. It’s full of simple, comforting, wholesome farm food. The ingredients are basic, just what you might find growing -or growing up- on a farm. This makes it very easy for one to procure the ingredients listed. And because she is not a fussy cook, the dishes are not intimidating.
Paprika and Rosemary Roasted Chicken makes poultry taste full-bodied with very few, but well-chosen, ingredients. I might put it this way: if you’re hankering for steak and have nothing but poultry in the house, this is the recipe for you. The overall taste is wonderfully smoky-sweet (a hint of BBQ on the tongue) on account of the paprika. The rosemary grounds it all, and the garlic ends up caramelized as it’s cradled in the sauce. The end result is that you feel caveman-satisfied.
Shaye calls for a whole chicken, cut into 6 pieces. I only had chicken thighs and used those. I still followed the prep directions exactly and the chicken, even without their bone and skin, turned out wonderfully moist. To the spice and flour mix, I did add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and an extra teaspoon of salt, as this suited my palate. To the chicken stock and vinegar, I added 1 teaspoon Chicken Better Than Bouillon, 1 tablespoon butter, and the rest of the spice mix leftover in the dredging bowl. I was pleased with this, as it resulted in a slightly-thickened and beautifully glossy sauce. Lastly, though she called for baking it all in a separate baking dish, I used our 15″ cast iron skillet (which we call the granddaddy) for both the browning and the baking. This omitted one extra dish to wash, and it increased the depth of flavor since nothing was lost in transfer, and cast iron just has that mysterious power to enrich the flavor of every dish. Whichever vessel you use, the goal is to get the chicken laying in a single layer and the sides of the vessel not be too high.