01 Jul Smokey Paprika Chicken
There is nothing like a one-tray roasted supper for easing the end-of-the-week mealtime fatigue. I find chicken such a simple meat to cook, and I usually do a tray bake of chicken about once a week. I buy free-range chicken legs from the butchers at Fallon & Byrne in Dublin’s city centre, or from Coolanowle Organic Butchers in the Green Door Market in Dublin 8.
This recipe calls for chicken thighs but you can use chicken legs if you prefer. I also cook chicken on the bone as the result is way more succulent than a chicken breast. I find chicken breasts are too easy to dry out, especially when roasting. If you really aren’t a fan of meat on the bone, feel free to adapt this recipe using chicken breasts and roast them for about 20 to 30 minutes at the same temperature, or until cooked through.
Paprika is one of my favourite spices, particularly the smoked variety. I love the intense sweetness it brings to a traditional Hungarian goulash, and the smokiness it adds to a pan of Spanish paella. Both cuisines use a slightly different style of paprika, hence the subtle difference in flavour. Both are made from a variety of peppers, which the Hungarians dry out in the sunshine. In Spain, paprika is known as pimentón, and it ranges from dulce (the sweetest and mildest), agridulce (moderately spicy) and picante (the hottest). The Spanish usually smoke the peppers over oak, which where the magic lies for me.
This week, I’ve harnessed that smokey Spanish flavour into a simple but hearty supper that serves two with some leftovers for lunch the next day. It’s really easily doubled if you’re cooking a laid-back meal for a crowd.
Smokey Paprika Chicken
Serves 2 to 3
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
6 chicken thighs
12 new potatoes
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 heaped tablespoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Juice of half a lemon
1 head of garlic
4 tablespoons of natural yogurt, to serve
Green salad, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6.
- Place the chicken thighs and the new potatoes in a large roasting tray.
- Drizzle the chicken and the potatoes with the olive oil. Sprinkle the smoked paprika and cayenne pepper evenly over the chicken and potatoes.
- Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the roasting dish, and add a very generous pinch of salt and pepper. Slice the rind from the squeezed lemon into chunks and add to the roasting dish.
- Place the tray in the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender.
- Make a yogurt dressing by putting the four tablespoons of yogurt in a bowl. Add one to two tablespoon of cold water and mix until the yogurt has a thin consistency that drizzles well.
- When you’re ready to serve, drizzle the yogurt over the potatoes and the chicken, and sprinkle with some more smoked paprika. Serve this smokey one-tray wonder with a crisp green salad on the side.
Storecupboard Essential: Lemons
Lemons are a constant present in my kitchen. Especially when paired with roasted tomato or smokey paprika flavours, I love the sharp tang they bring to suppers. I always throw in the rinds along with the juice when I’m roasting potatoes or chicken, as it revs up the lemony taste.
This recipe first appeared in The Irish Independent on 30th of June