Hi...I'm Renee!

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{Foodie Friday} Seared Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato Chips

{Foodie Friday} Seared Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato Chips

This week I have one of my favorite meals to share with you. I can't say the entire meal is my own original meal, but I did get the idea for the chicken thighs from one of favorite chefs, Chef Bobo. Damian ALWAYS makes fun of his name and I ALWAYS tell him that he's a KIDS chef at the Calhoun School in NYC and that's not his real name.  If he ever worked with kids, he'd get it!  Ha! I did have the opportunity to hear him speak at my nutrition school.  I just love him and what he's doing for his school and his students!

I use his cookbook quite a bit.  It's not just for kids! :) I make his chicken thighs a lot. But I put my own spin on the marinade.  The marinade is a staple in our household for many things.  It's quick, easy and it tastes delicious!  I added some quick sides to go along, too.  I'm pretty excited to share it with you.

OK, so I'm trying my spin as the Pioneer Woman below!  I just love how she captures her food (she really shows how beautiful food is and thats's something I love doing, too!).  Before she became popular and when I was studying nutrition, I always said I wanted to put out a cookbook that had step by step pictures AND is spiral bound!  Her cookbook isn't spiral bound SO I may be on to something here!  And, I'm still working on getting it all step by step like she does (didn't realize how much harder it is when you have an almost 14 month old screaming at you for food and/or water...haha!).

OK! Let's get started!

Seared Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato Chips and Sauteed Spinach

First, marinate the chicken thighs (from your local farmer, grass-fed and/or antibiotic free with bone and skin. Why? You'll get more nutrients from the bones (especially calcium) and the juices will stay in while cooking because of the skin and your body will be satisfied with all that good flavor and healthy fats.) I didn't get a picture, but what I did was put the chicken in a glass container and added 1 cup of olive oil (be sure to use OLIVE OIL, not EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL. Why?  Because extra virgin will go rancid when cooked on high heat.  Once heated it destroy's all the goodness (nutrients) it can provide for your body. Good rule of thumb: Use regular olive oil for cooking and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling on salads, bruschetta, etc.), 1/4 cup lemon juice, 6 cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Sometimes I'll add fresh parsley but I didn't have any on hand.  Let that marinate for as long as you'd like.  For this dish, I only let it marinate for as long as I prepared the meal and it still had amazing flavor!

Next up!  Pan sear the chicken thighs in 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter (I use grass-fed) and 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I place the chicken, skin side, down first.  Then I take my iron skillet and place it on top of the chicken. I then take my tongs and rotate the chicken back and forth three times on each side.  Once on each side I will let them cook for about 5 to 6 minutes and then rotate.  They cook for a total of 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your thighs.

On my last rotation I will add in the leftover marinade on top.  Don't they look beautiful!?!?  The skin gets crispy and the meat is flavorful and moist.  So good!

Toward the end of searing the chicken,  I then place one to two  bags of organic spinach  in 1 tablespoon of grass-fed butter and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. You get double the bang of nutrients when you mix the two.  Be sure to use some kind of healthy fat with your spinach or any dark leafy greens because that's the only way your body will soak up the amazing nutrients that dark leafy greens provide.  Healthy fats are your friend, not your foe! I promise! You can also add onion or garlic to your sauteed greens, if you'd like.  This time, I didn't add extras.

And, lastly, my favorite snack/side dish to make are sweet potato chips. You'll be amazed at how EASY this is and how TASTY they are!  Take one sweet potato and wash it up.  Leave skin on. Then slice into thin circles.

Have you ever cut into a raw sweet potato like this?  I mean, just look at the beauty!!

Once they're all sliced up, I put them in a bowl and pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sea salt on them. I mix them up to make sure they're covered completely.  Then I put them on tin foil and get them ready for my toaster oven. You can do the same for your oven if you don't have a toaster oven (just FYI - make sure the pan you use has sides.  I've made them on a flat cookie sheet and they jumped all over the place and when I opened the oven door, there were many missing from the cookie sheet. Too funny!).  I pre-heat my oven to 400 degrees and then when ready I place them in for 10 minutes or so.  You need to watch them closely because they can burn up quick, so depending on how thick you cut them, be sure to stand by and check on them.  They'll turn out crispy!

And then,  after all your hard work is done, you have an amazing dish to satisfy your taste buds!  It definitely satisfies mine!

Seared Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato Chips and Sauteed Spinach

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes
Yield: 1 to 4 servings

Ingredients:
4 to 6 organic/local/non-antibiotic/grass-fed chicken thighs with bone and skin
1 bag of organic spinach (may need more depending on the size of your family)
1/4 cup lemon
6 to 8 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil
butter (grass-fed or organic)
1 teaspoon sea salt
dash of pepper

Directions:
1. Marinate the chicken thighs.  Place chicken with 1 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon sea salt, dash of pepper.  If adding parsley (chop a handful and add in).  Let that sit for an hour or so.  And, if you don't have the time, just let it sit while you prepare the other dishes.  It will still get the flavor.
2. Wash sweet potato and cut into thin circles.  Place in a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sea salt.  Make sure they're covered completely. Place on foil in a pan.  Set aside.
3. Heat skillet to medium/high heat.  Get out another skillet or even use a brick covered in foil to sear the chicken. I use an iron skillet.
4. Get out an old rag or old pot holder and place on the side of the skillet.  This way you have a place to set the top skillet down when turning over your chicken thighs.  The bottom will have the juices on it.  Also, if using an iron skillet, have another pot holder at your side because the handle will get hot.
5. Place one to two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoons of butter in the skillet.
6. Place chicken thighs, skin side down, in the skillet.  Keep the leftover marinade for the end.
7. Place iron skillet or brick on top of chicken thighs.  Let this cook for 5 to 6 minutes.  Then place iron skillet on old rag and rotate chicken thighs.  Place iron skillet back on chicken thighs for another 5 to 6 minutes.  Keep rotating every 5 to 6 minutes another two times.  Or, depending on the size of your chicken.  They should cook for a total of 20 to 25 minutes.
8. At the end of searing, on your last rotation, add in the leftover marinade.
9. While chicken is searing, pre-heat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.  Once heated, place sweet potatoes in oven for 10 minutes.  Watch them carefully so they don't burn.
10. When at the last of your rotation, heat up another skillet to medium heat.
11. Add in 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of sea salt.  Then add in spinach.  Sautee for 5 minutes.  Just until wilted.
12.  Take off chicken and place aside until ready to serve with spinach and sweet potato chips.
13.  Turn off all distractions, sit down with your family, take a few deep breaths, say how much gratitude you have for your food and your family and dig in, slowly!

Let me know how this dish worked for you!  I love hearing what you have say!  And, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me! :)

{life is delicious}

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