Comfort food with a healthy twist
This roasted chicken thighs recipe came out of a craving for that luscious flavor of smoky paprika. It’s a strange place to start, trying to come up with a recipe from a single spice. But Googling paprika led me to a recipe by Chef Jose Andres that combine chicken thighs and lentils with the seductive combination of bacon, paprika and sherry vinegar. (And remember, lentils makes our list of the 10 Best Foods for Women.) The original recipe was a little heavy for my taste. I lightened it up by eliminating some of the fat and adding vegetables to create my own version of Roasted Chicken Thighs with Golden Lentils.
A base of Spanish flavors
The result is certainly not authentically Spanish but it captures some of the signature Spanish notes with the tang of sherry vinegar and that seductive bottom note of smoky goodness I was craving from the paprika. It may not be distinctly Spanish but what my roasted chicken thighs recipe is, is an easy, slow-cooked meal with a depth of sexy flavors.
An no-stress entree packed with Spanish flavors, this recipe was Inspired by Jose Andres Chicken Thighs with Lentil Stew.
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 slices of thick-cut bacon diced
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 quart chicken stock or broth
- 3 clove garlic cloves plus 1finely chopped
- 1 lg carrot halved lengthwise
- 1 lg zucchini halved lengthwise
- 1 small leek white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise
- 1 large red bell pepper quartered
- 1 1/4 cup golden lentils substitute red lentils
- 1 thyme sprig
- 1 1/2 lbs organic chicken thighs
- Pimentón de la Vera (smokey Spanish paprika)
- 2 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
Heat a large, non-stick saute pan over medium heat (I use a non-teflon Scan Pan).
- Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
- Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
- Add the stock, whole garlic cloves, carrot, leek, bell pepper, zucchini, lentils and thyme plus 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
- Coat a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and arrange the chicken. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast on the top rack for about 40 minutes, until cooked through.
- Discard the thyme sprig from the lentils.
- Transfer the garlic, carrot, leek and bell pepper to a blender. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and puree.
- Drain the lentils and return them to the pot. Stir in the pureed vegetables.
- In a small skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and cook over low heat for 1 minute.
- Add 1 teaspoon of pimentón. Scrape the mixture into the lentils and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the spinach and vinegar, stirring until the spinach is just wilted and season with salt to taste. Serve the lentils in bowls topped with the chicken.
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