April 20 - Four-Cheese Mac & Cauliflower Bake with a green salad with tomato & blanched green beans
April 21 - Ginger Chicken Thighs with Parsnips and leftover Broccoli Slaw
April 22 - Dinner out with friends.
This recipe came from some time spent with my ever-growing cookbook collection. I had a package of chicken thighs in the freezer so I picked up a few of my books that I have yet to cook out of and started looking. The one that stood out with the most options was a book that was gifted to me by a good friend of my sister's, she's basically an honorary member of our family and was a very important guest at mine & the Boy's wedding. The book is called Simply Ming: One Pot Meals: Quick, Healthy & Affordable Recipes, it came as a surprise in the mail one day. Miss B (as she'll be known) actually works part-time at Blue Ginger, Ming Tsai's restaurant in Wellesley, MA she had an extra copy of the book and thought it would be helpful with this very challenge. So it's only right that the first recipe I cook out of it is posted here.
As I went on my cookbook search, I found that Chef Tsai had quite a few recipes using chicken thighs, because it's in fact his favorite part of the bird. As if being a fellow Masshole wasn't enough, I now was now more of a fan since I too love chicken thighs. I marked a couple recipes and gave the boy the final say on which I cooked. He looked at this recipe first and I think decided it on it before seeing anything of the others. I was happy because while all of the recipes are pretty simple with few ingredients, this one was the simplest. Simple was key since Thursday I had an eye doctor appointment, an appointment where I knew I'd have to get my pupils dilated and would in effect be fairly useless for a few hours. I had read the recipe over a few times, which turned out to be a good thing since the Boy got called into work last minute and had to head in at 7:30pm, the time I had been planning on starting dinner. So with my eyes still a bit blurry from the dilation, I set to work, moving a bit more slowly so as not to chop off a digit.
I sit here typing with all my digits intact and a belly full of this yummy meal. But as I typed up the recipe I realized I forgot to add the celery! It didn't ruin it at all, in fact the dinner was delicious, we both loved it. This method made for an insanely crispy skin, perfect skin if you ask me. The parsnips were a bit soft but so flavorful with little caramelized bits all over. Leaving out the celery wasn't a huge issue for us, if anything it would make an already tasty dish even better. My only criticism is that I might add a bit more ginger next time, to really give a good punch of ginger.
Ginger Chicken Thighs with Parsnips
from Simply Ming One Pot Meals by Ming Tsai & Arthur Boehm
2 lbs chicken thighs (about 8)
freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsps grapeseed or canola oil
2 large or 3 medium onions
2 Tbsps fresh ginger - minced
3 large parsnips, peeled & cut into 1" lengths or roll-cut to 1" lengths
4 celery stalks cut into 1" lengths or roll-cut to 1" lengths
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 350F
2. Season the thighs with salt and pepper. Heat large roasting pan or a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsps of oil and swirl to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the thighs skin down. Brown on both sides, turning once, about 10 minutes. Transfer the thighs to a platter and set aside.
3. Add the remaining oil to the pan, swirl & heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, ginger, parsnips, celery & thyme. Season with salt & pepper and saute the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Top with the thighs, skin side up, and bake uncovered until the chicken and vegetables are done, 30-40 minutes. Serve.
So I'm a fan of my new cookbook and already have a list of other recipes I hope to make. This one took about an hour including prep and it tastes great, too?! Winner!
As this challenge progresses and we approach the 1/3 mark I am realizing more and more how valuable my cookbooks are. Do you have a cookbook you love?