The grocery store had these cute fresh shiitake mushrooms and I decided to pick up some and make them for dinner. The mushrooms were right next to the green beans, so I picked some of those as well together with some fresh corn (it’s already starting to taste as off-season) and decided to serve them with some chicken thighs I already had at home. The chicken was supposed to be pan fried, but I rubbed it with a little bit too much cayenne and I had to finish it in the oven to avoid inhaling too much spicy smoke (another good instance where a hood on top of my stove would have been helpful!). For a moment I thought this won’t make it on the blog, but despite a little bit of smoke and having to change the cooking plan, the chicken ended up pretty moist and very tasty. You can of course save yourself the trouble of cooking chicken and have a delicious vegetarian meal of roasted shiitake, green beans and corn 🙂
Ingredients (serves 3 small people, double the chicken for regular 3 servings :-)):
- 3 (or 6) chicken thighs, bone in
- spice rub: salt, pepper, cayenne (just a pinch)
- 1 Tb oil
- 1/2 lb green beans, washed, trimmed, sliced
- corn kernels from 2 ears
- 1/2 onion, diced
- several shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
- 3 Tb butter
- 1 – 2 Tb sherry (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with cooking oil, place the mushrooms brown side up, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes. Flip mushrooms over and bake for an additional 10 minutes. The shiitake can come in many different sizes, so check on the mushrooms a few times during cooking time to make sure that tiny ones don’t get too dry. Cover with foil to keep warm until your ready to serve them.
Preheat oven to 450 F. Rub chicken thighs with the dry spice mix. Heat 1 Tb oil over medium heat in a cast-iron pan. Place chicken skin side down and cook for ~ 12 minutes, flip over and cook for an additional 8 minutes and then transfer to the preheated oven for another 10 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165F. The cooking time can vary so it’s best to check the temperature or just poke the chicken and make sure the juices are clear if you don’t own a thermometer. The good thing about the bone-in chicken thighs is that you can overcook them a bit without losing all the moisture…and also they’re much tastier than the breast in my humble opinion 🙂 I was hoping I could cook mine all the way through in the skillet, but after 20 minutes they were not cooked all the way to the bone and the extra cayenne was getting burned on the bottom of the pan so I had to use the oven and it worked great.
For the green beans, heat up a pot of salted water to boiling. Blanch beans for 3-5 minutes. Remove and either place in an ice water bath or rinse immediately with lots of cold water to stop the cooking process. In a large skillet, heat up 2 Tb butter on medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the green beans, corn and saute for a few minutes or until the corn is cooked. Deglaze with a little sherry (the sherry was next to my stove since I debated making a chicken pan sauce, but that didn’t work out so I used it for the veggies since a little alcohol can never hurt :-)), season with salt and pepper and turn off the heat. Fold in the remaining 1 Tb of butter to give it the nice glossy look and the delicious buttery taste 😉
Serve 1-2 chicken thighs per person with a few sliced roasted shiitake, and a couple scoops of the green beans-corn side dish. Enjoy with a nice glass of wine…you deserve it 🙂
Despite the cooking process being a bit chaotic, this meal was totally worth it! Everything was delicious (even the cayenne-y chicken thighs) and it felt like a very balanced meal, and it did make 3 dinners so overall worth the effort 😉