Have you ever encountered one of those marketing cards you sometimes get with your bill at the end of a restaurant meal? You know, the one tucked in next to the comment card that is pitching a special event at the restaurant, or advertising a new cookbook that the chef just authored. Well, a couple weeks back the boys and I were enjoying a Sunday brunch at one of Todd English's restaurants and we received one of these cards when presented with our bill. It was pitching his new cookbook entitled Cooking In Everyday English: The ABCs of Great Flavor at Home, and as a teaser for his new tome, it included a recipe from the book on the back. This is the recipe we found, and if its any indication of the quality of the rest of the recipes in his new book, Todd clearly has another best seller on his hands.
This dish was supremely easy to put together and is really tasty. The thighs simply take a couple hour bath in an Asian marinade, then are baked on a sheet tray…..easy peazy. While his marinade sets up the dish with a solid flavor foundation, for me the key to this plate's charm are the accompaniments that English has you make to toss over the thighs when serving. The fried shallot, garlic, and jalapeño rings are holy $#!% nasty good. In fact, now that I've noshed on some, and seen how simple they are to make, I can see adding them to all sorts of dishes.
If little morsels of fried perfection are not your thing, then there's something seriously wrong with you don't worry, you can opt not to make them and just have the thighs straight up, they'll still be delicious.
Were it not for a concern that my lovely wife would do something rash should I acquire yet another cookbook, I would be signing on to Amazon right now to order this one. I've always been a fan of Todd English's cooking, and these thighs have done their job, and caught me hook, line and sinker.
Cheers – Steve
- 1 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 3 tablespoons sweet rice wine (mirin)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
- 1 tablespoons finely chopped or grated fresh ginger
- 8 skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced shallots (about 5 large)
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1-2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
- vegetable, peanut or canola oil for frying
- Whisk together the first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish or zip-top plastic bag; add the chicken, turning to coat. Cover or seal, and chill 30 minutes to 3 hours.
- Heat the oven to 375℉. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 baking dish. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding any excess marinade. Place the chicken skin side up in the prepared baking dish. Bake at 375℉ for 40 minutes or until done and skin is golden brown.
- Meanwhile, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a heavy bottomed pot; heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350℉. Lightly dredge the shallots in the flour, shaking off any excess. Fry the shallots in batches, 1-2 minutes or until crispy. Drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Repeat procedure with garlic and jalapeño slices. Sprinkle shallots, garlic and jalapeño generously with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Divide cooked chicken among individual plates. Sprinkle with the shallots, garlic, jalapeño pepper and minced cilantro. Serve immediately.