Blackened Chicken

Blackened Chicken

I absolutely adore this chicken. Nicely seared skin, moist interior and chicken bursting with a subtle balanced layer of heat (of course you can pump up that level of heat according to preference.)

This is an absolutely terrific dish to serve for company as the preparation process is quite low maintenance. The recipe calls for searing the chicken first, but if you make this for a large group of people (let’s say summer barbeque?) skip the searing process and simply roast the chicken in the oven. Moist, tender, delicious with just the right level of spice! What a crowd pleaser!

Yields4 Servings

 around 8 chicken thighs, 4 chicken legs or one chicken split into halfs
 2 tbsp oil, and more as needed for searing the chicken
 ½ tsp kosher salt (half as much if using fine table salt)
For the blackening seasoning:
 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt (half as much if using fine table salt)
 2 tsp dried oregno
 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
 1 tsp pepper
 ¼ tsp white pepper, optional
 1 tbsp paprika
 ½ tsp cayenne (more or less to taste, when serving for company I scale it back to 1/4 tsp just to be safe)
 2 tsp dried onion powder (not salt)
 1 tsp dried garlic powder (not salt)
 red pepper flakes, optional

1

Mix the spice blend together. I prefer to double or triple the spice blend recipe and store leftovers in an airtight container for when I need Cajun seasoning.

2

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

3

Dry the skin of the chicken with a paper towel. Coat the chicken skin with the blackening seasoning. Gently season the uncoated chicken side with about 1 tsp of kosher salt.

4

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering (at least 3-4 minutes.)

5

Place chicken into the skillet skin side down. Be careful not to overcrowd. You will likely need to fry your chicken in batches. Press down on the chicken with the spatula to ensure the maximum contact with the pan. The cooking time will vary but be somewhere around 3-5 minutes. You are looking to "blacken" the chicken and get a nice sear, without burning it.

As mentioned in the blog post, if serving this for a large group of people, searing step could be skipped to simplify the process. The chicken will still be delicious but it won't be the true blackened chicken. I would refer to it more as a spicy paprika roasted chicken.

6

After you finished getting a nice sear, place the chicken skin side up on a baking sheet. Repeat the searing process with remaining chicken pieces. Place the baking sheet into the oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 175 if cooking legs or thighs. If cooking half chickens, aim for 165 internal temperature registered in the breast. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Average thighs can be as little as 20 minutes, while half chickens can be closer to 40 minutes.

Interesting note: it is safe to eat chicken thighs at 165, however, the juices may still run pink and chicken will still be chewy as the abundant connective tissue would not have been broken down just yet. For these reasons, chicken thighs are at their best at 175.

7

Serve right away. Feel free to adjust this spice blend according to preference. The spice blend here is on a milder side aimed at pleasing the majority. If you make your chicken extra spicy, consider serving with a yogurt based sauce to balance the heat.

Ingredients

 around 8 chicken thighs, 4 chicken legs or one chicken split into halfs
 2 tbsp oil, and more as needed for searing the chicken
 ½ tsp kosher salt (half as much if using fine table salt)
For the blackening seasoning:
 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt (half as much if using fine table salt)
 2 tsp dried oregno
 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
 1 tsp pepper
 ¼ tsp white pepper, optional
 1 tbsp paprika
 ½ tsp cayenne (more or less to taste, when serving for company I scale it back to 1/4 tsp just to be safe)
 2 tsp dried onion powder (not salt)
 1 tsp dried garlic powder (not salt)
 red pepper flakes, optional

Directions

1

Mix the spice blend together. I prefer to double or triple the spice blend recipe and store leftovers in an airtight container for when I need Cajun seasoning.

2

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

3

Dry the skin of the chicken with a paper towel. Coat the chicken skin with the blackening seasoning. Gently season the uncoated chicken side with about 1 tsp of kosher salt.

4

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering (at least 3-4 minutes.)

5

Place chicken into the skillet skin side down. Be careful not to overcrowd. You will likely need to fry your chicken in batches. Press down on the chicken with the spatula to ensure the maximum contact with the pan. The cooking time will vary but be somewhere around 3-5 minutes. You are looking to "blacken" the chicken and get a nice sear, without burning it.

As mentioned in the blog post, if serving this for a large group of people, searing step could be skipped to simplify the process. The chicken will still be delicious but it won't be the true blackened chicken. I would refer to it more as a spicy paprika roasted chicken.

6

After you finished getting a nice sear, place the chicken skin side up on a baking sheet. Repeat the searing process with remaining chicken pieces. Place the baking sheet into the oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 175 if cooking legs or thighs. If cooking half chickens, aim for 165 internal temperature registered in the breast. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Average thighs can be as little as 20 minutes, while half chickens can be closer to 40 minutes.

Interesting note: it is safe to eat chicken thighs at 165, however, the juices may still run pink and chicken will still be chewy as the abundant connective tissue would not have been broken down just yet. For these reasons, chicken thighs are at their best at 175.

7

Serve right away. Feel free to adjust this spice blend according to preference. The spice blend here is on a milder side aimed at pleasing the majority. If you make your chicken extra spicy, consider serving with a yogurt based sauce to balance the heat.

Blackened Chicken

Happens to be Paleo, Keto, Low Carb, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free: as with all gluten-free recipes, ensure all your ingredients are gluten free and not cross-contaminated.

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