I thought you were good Paul... but you're not good. You're just another lying ol' dirty birdy. – Annie (Cathy Bates), from Misery
I love that movie. It’s so full of memorable words from “Annie.” I think what makes them so chilling is the horrid malice behind all the New England colloquialisms. Stephen King certainly knows how to make characters come to life.
“I am your number one fan. There is nothing to worry about. You are going to be just fine. I am your number one fan.” Fantastically ominous when delivered by Ms. Bates…
Well this dirty bird is certainly something good. The “dirty” comes from the collection of ingredients that make the spice coating. This is my take on the mix. There are others.
I don’t know where it may have originated, but it certainly has many hallmarks of Mexican food. Chipotle, oregano and chocolate (in unusual places) are dead giveaways. The spice mix definitely imparts a “dirty” look to the chicken before frying.
My spouse said it looked like “shake ‘n bake” but it was too brown.
Many of these same rub ingredients are used in making dirty rice. I would hazard a guess that if you made a little more mix than necessary it could be added to rice before cooking to very good effect. Just add a little chopped onion for some extra bite.
This is a recipe that pairs very well with sweet grilled corn The chipotle in both the butter and rub ties the two together.
I am finding that browning on the stove and finishing in the oven is quickly becoming my favourite “fried” chicken technique. Usually fried chicken in a skillet is over-browned. Not so in the oven. It’s difficult for me to think of more moist chicken.
Of course it all depends on a good instant-read meat thermometer. If you don’t have one, get one. They’re really a lifesaver. Almost an object of necessity one might say...
Both of these recipes take the same length of time in the same heat oven. That’s a real benefit for the harried cook. This is an easy meal to pull off for a weeknight dinner.
If you like spice rubs, try this one. It’s deliciously different, and despite the chiptole has very little spiciness. It’s more smokey than hot.
|Ready for the oven.|
Dirty Bird Chicken
Prep: 5 min | Cook: 25 min | Serves 4-6
6-8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
2 tsp paprika
1-1/2 tsp chipotle pepper powder
1 tsp sage
1 tsp salt
Prep: 5 min | Cook: 30 min | Serves 4-6
8 ears of corn, husked
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp chipotle pepper powder
2 tsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place the corn in the oven directly on an upper grate. Total cooking time will be 30 minutes.
To make the dirty bird, combine all the ingredients except for the chicken in a plastic bag. Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
Add the thighs, close the bag and shake vigorously to coat.
Heat an oven proof frying pan on the stove and add the thighs skin side up. Let cook until they begin to brown on the underside. Some fat will render out.
Flip and brown on the skin side. Then turn skin side back up.
Place the entire pan in the oven and let bake for 20-25 minutes, or until internal temperature reads 180°F on a meat thermometer.
While the corn and chicken cook make the butter by whipping together the butter, chipotle and lemon juice.
Serve the corn with the butter, and a piece or two of chicken.
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