There’s not much to say about this recipe except DAMN.
I love paprika chicken and its many, many incarnations. When I was growing up, my mom used to make a version that soaked in a bullion broth with diced onions and spices and was served over rice. It was my favorite dish, so you can imagine my disappointment when I came to discover my spouse hates paprika.
The thought of going through the trouble of making my favorite dish for only me to eat was a bit discouraging, so the recipe went into the back of my recipe card file, and has sat there for the last couple of years.
Last week, as I was flipping through everything in my Google Reader, I came across Epicurious’ February 4th Recipe of the Day: Paprika Roast Chicken with Sweet Onions.
The recipe is written with bone-in chicken in mind, and I prefer boneless, skinless breasts. So I took this home and adapted it a bit. Holy crap, was this good. Yeah, the spouse still hates paprika, but this is so simple and so fast, I could easily make it for just one person. (Do you hear that, single folks? This gets ripped together so fast you actually won’t mind cooking only for yourself.)
Paprika Roast Chicken with Sweet Onion
Adapted from Gourmet
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tablespoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in upper third.
Mix oil with spices, 3/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl, then add chicken and onion, tossing to coat. Arrange chicken, skin side up, and onion in a shallow baking dish.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the spices have formed a light crust all around the chicken breast. Add chicken broth to the dish and cook for another 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
In short, throw all of your stuff into a bowl, mix it up, put it into the pan and throw it into the oven. That’s it. That’s all you’ve gotta do. The directions above are pretty similar to what’s on the epicurious site, except that I halved the recipe and, so the breasts don’t dry out during the cooking process, I added the chicken broth in the bottom of the pan after the spices have had a chance to stick to the breast. Adding the broth at the start just washes the spices off, so I waited.
So here’s a shot of the spices and onion, right before I throw in the chicken. After you add the chicken, it all becomes like a thick paste.
Here it is going into the oven:
And coming out:
How I should have served this was on top of a small bed of rice, but I didn’t think about that until later.
Alone, this was just a spicy chicken breast. With the onions (I used yellow Mayans) it’s absolutely magnificent. How it should be eaten is with one onion and one bite of the breast together. The contrast of the sweet, soft onions and the spicy chicken was so delicious, I can’t even begin to explain. Bonus: Ten minutes prep time. By the time this came out of the oven, I had finished making dessert and cleaning up the kitchen.
I can’t say enough about how great this dish is. I’m sad I won’t be making it often and, when I do, it will be only for me, but I’m excited that I found something delicious and healthy, and even Citizen Chef can make when he gets home from a late night at work.
Weeknight Cooking Grade: A
Main Dish Grade: A