HOT PEPPER CHICKEN UNDER A BRICK
Rachael Ray: Just in Time
Cooking your chicken under a brick might seem silly, but there is nothing silly about the flavor you end up with here. It is seriously tasty. Try it and see!
• 4 large chicken legs and thighs or 4 chicken breasts
• Salt and black pepper
• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1 rounded tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 5 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), plus more for drizzling the bread
• 2 to 3 tablespoons banana pepper rings, finely chopped, plus
• 2 tablespoons of the juice from the jar
• A handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
• 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
• 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1/2 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
• 4 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
• 1 bunch arugula or watercress, cleaned and chopped
• Loaf of crusty bread, for mopping
• 1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
Season the chicken with salt and black pepper. Combine the red pepper flakes, mustard, and about 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small dish. Slather the mixture all over the skin of the chicken.
Place the chicken skin side down in a large nonstick skillet. Set a sheet of foil on top of the chicken, then place a plate or smaller pan on top and weight it with a brick or some heavy cans. Place the skillet over medium to medium-high heat and cook for 17 to 18 minutes. Remove the weight, turn the chicken over, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Replace the brick and cook the chicken for another 2 minutes. When the chicken is cooked through, sprinkle it with the chopped hot peppers, douse with the pepper juice, and top with the parsley.
While the chicken cooks, stir together the marmalade, poppy seeds, and vinegar, then whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of EVOO, adding it in a slow stream. Toss the cucumbers, tomatoes, and greens with the dressing and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the broiler.
Cut the bread into 1- to 2-inch-thick slices and broil until charred, a couple of minutes. Rub the bread with the cut side of the garlic clove and drizzle with EVOO. Transfer the chicken to 4 dinner plates, then press the bread slices into the pan juices, swishing them around to pick up as much juice as possible.
Serve the chicken with the salad and bread.