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Green-Chile Chicken Thighs with Arugula Salad

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

Adam Perry Lang, owner of Daisy May's BBQ USA in New York City, tasted New Mexican Hatch green-chile powder for the first time during one of his "flavor recon missions," he says. "I was absolutely amazed by the color, fruitiness and bright, floral taste. The powder isn't a substitute for fresh chiles; it's a whole different flavor experience." It took Perry Lang nearly two months to track down a purveyor, dagiftbasket.com ("my best-kept secret"); now he sprinkles the powder on pork, grilled corn and poultry, including these delightful, crisp chicken thighs.

  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 3 tablespoons New Mexican Hatch green-chile powder or other mild green-chile powder
  3. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  4. 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  5. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 12 chicken thighs on the bone, trimmed of excess skin
  7. 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  8. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  9. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  10. 1/4 pound baby arugula
  11. 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  12. 1/2 pound queso fresco or farmer cheese, crumbled (2 cups)
  13. Creamy Grits, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Spread the butter in a medium roasting pan. In a small bowl, combine the chile powder, coriander and oregano with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle the seasonings generously over the chicken thighs, pressing to help them adhere.
  2. Transfer the chicken to the roasting pan, skin side down. Cover the chicken with foil and roast for 1 hour. Turn the chicken thighs and roast, uncovered, for 25 minutes longer, until they are cooked through and the pan juices are slightly reduced.
  3. Light the broiler. Broil the chicken 6 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the skin is golden and crisp. Pour the pan juices into a bowl and stir in the parsley and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Season the pan juices with salt and pepper.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula, cilantro and queso fresco and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the Creamy Grits into shallow bowls and top with the chicken thighs. Mound the salad alongside, drizzle the pan juices all around and serve.

Suggested Pairing

An oak-fermented New Zealand Pinot Gris has enough body to stand up to this bold-flavored chicken.

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