Chicken breasts are an extremely popular cut of meat, and that's because they're easy to work with. But I've lately taken to buying boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. They're just as easy (no prep whatsoever), but they lay flat and cook more evenly, especially on a grill or grill pan. They also taste better—and a coating of "garlicky crumbs," as in this Mario Batali recipe, doesn't hurt at all.
Why I Picked This Recipe: I'm always on the lookout for quick chicken recipes, especially those that don't require a long marinating time. It also struck my eye as a less obvious recipe for Batali—it features parsley and shallots, hallmarks of French cuisine, not Italian.
What Worked: The depth of flavor of the breadcrumbs, which are pulsed with anchovies, parsley, olive oil, and a heroic amount of garlic, allowed the chicken to require only 15 minutes or so of wait time to absorb tremendous flavor: just enough time to get the grill going and prepare the snap peas.
What Didn't: The amount of olive oil called for with the breadcrumbs produced a gummy mess on my first attempt, so I had to start over. I've adjusted the amount in the recipe.
Suggested Tweaks: The snap peas are a wonderful, crunchy side, mixed with a base of caramelized shallots and more anchovy. But lots of vegetables, such as green beans or broccoli, could stand in for the snap peas.
Adapted from Food & Wine.
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:25 minutes
- 5 oil-packed anchovy fillets
- 10-12 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs, made from crusty European-style bread
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 pound sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
- 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
In a food processor, pulse 4 of the anchovy fillets, garlic, parsley, and 1/4 cup of olive oil until finely chopped. Add the breadcrumbs and pulse until evenly blended.
Season the chicken thighs with salt, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a grill or grill pan. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add the snap peas, and blanch until bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and pat dry.
In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the remaining olive oil until shimmering. Add the last anchovy fillet and break it up with a wooden spoon until it “melts” into the oil. Add the shallots and cook until soft and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the snap peas and toss to coat. Cook until heated through, then season with salt.
Grill the chicken thighs until they are crisped and cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side depending on the heat. Serve with the snap peas.