Chef Geoff Hundt’s Recipe: Special Twist on Chicken Thighs


Want to resolve the dilemma of dry rooster endlessly? Then why not gradual-cook it in an fragrant bath of canola oil, herbs and spices? Houstonian chef Geoff Hundt does just that.

“I desired to elevate the hen in a fashion that was equally flavorful but not as easy as roasting or braising,” says Hundt, who is the chef at d’Alba. “Cooking the rooster in oil instead of liquid also aids with remaining equipped to get the pores and skin really crispy when searing it or roasting it, to finish the chicken.”

After an right away marinade with herbs and aromatics, the chicken is wholly submerged in canola oil and cooked in a 300-diploma oven for a few several hours. Emerging completely cooked and richly flavorful, all it requires is a fast vacation via a warm oven or frying pan to crisp up that pores and skin just before serving. The ensuing dish affords the great blend of creative imagination and humble goodness — par for the study course at d’Alba, which is known for its imaginative methods to convenience-meals classics. It is a philosophy impressed in huge component by Hundt’s work with Houston’s very own Monica Pope, once in a while dubbed the “Alice Waters of the 3rd Coast.”

“For me as a younger cook dinner — appears to be like a different life back — this was actually distinct than anything anyone else was doing at the time,” he states of Pope’s Texas-centric locavore tactic. “I adopted this philosophy and [it] turned aspect of how I cook.”

Possibly the only action of this recipe that may possibly make dwelling cooks balk is the use of plastic wrap under tin foil throughout that prolonged bake. But really don’t be concerned, this is a prevalent cheffy trick utilized to retain issues moist, and it is been confirmed to be secure, as very long as selected safety measures are adopted like maintaining the temperature reduced and retaining the plastic from coming into contact with the food.

The innate simplicity of the dish might also be familiar to all those who share the chef’s affinity for Italian cooking, a really like that only deepened, to hear him inform it, just after time expended cooking in Tuscany.

“Traditionally I’m probably an Italian chef,” he muses. “Most come from a French history, which can be fussy. Italian meals is very simple, soulful.”

It is an apt description for this dish, which, in spite of the French system at its main, is served with accoutrements bearing hallmark Italian flavors. The sweet-and-sour pepper conserva is produced with a prosperous mix of bell peppers, onion and tomato seasoned with mustard seeds, vinegar and sugar. The sweet-and-savory combination’s kick of acidity gives the excellent counterpoint for the prosperous hen and crispy fried potatoes.

Hundt’s philosophy and flavors are extra than welcome in Houston’s Backyard Oaks neighborhood, of which the chef himself is a resident. The Long Seashore, CA native is not just proud to be serving his have neighborhood, but Houston at large, which he claims he “one hundred percent believes” rivals the lifestyle of his native West Coast.

“Here you can consume your way all over the full globe on a typical foundation,” he suggests. “Houston chefs cook what they want, what they’re passionate about. There aren’t any borders any longer, and the city’s meals has blossomed because of it.”

Chef Geoff Hundt's Confit Chicken Thighs with Smashed Red Potatoes and Pepper Conserva.

Chef Geoff Hundt’s Confit Rooster Thighs with Smashed Purple Potatoes and Pepper Conserva.

Becca Wright

Confit Chicken Thighs with Smashed Crimson Potatoes and Pepper Conserva

For the rooster

  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2½ teaspoons floor black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried ground chile flakes
  • 1¼ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1¼ teaspoons onion powder 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 grams (about 2 tablespoons) whole fresh thyme leaves
  • Canola oil, for confit

For the conserva

  • 1 pound pink bell peppers, seeds eradicated, medium dice
  • 1 pound environmentally friendly bell peppers, seeds taken out, medium dice
  • ⅔ pound purple onion, modest dice
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ⅓ ounce refreshing thyme, tied with string
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • ⅓ cup tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup crimson wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil

For the potatoes

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 2½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 2 lbs . pink potatoes

Toss the hen with all of the remaining substances to marinade. Include and chill overnight.

The future day, when prepared to cook dinner, preheat the oven to 300º F. Transfer the chicken into a baking dish, and add enough canola oil to include fully (the exact sum will count on the size of your baking dish). Go over with plastic wrap followed by foil. Braise the hen for three several hours.

In the meantime, for the conserva, warmth the oil in a medium saucepot around medium-superior heat. Insert the onions and garlic, and prepare dinner until caramelized. Insert the bell peppers, thyme, mustard seeds and bay leaf. Cook dinner right until the peppers are comfortable. Increase the tomato paste and cook until caramelized. Add the rest of the substances and continue on to prepare dinner for five more minutes. Test for salt and pepper, and set aside right up until ready to use.

Meanwhile, for the potatoes, incorporate all of the components in a huge inventory pot, and insert sufficient h2o to include. Deliver to a boil, then promptly reduce the heat. Set apart until all set to use.

Just after a few hours, take away the chicken from the oven and allow the rooster to amazing in the oil. Get rid of the chicken from the oil and location on a rack established about a roasting pan to let any extra oil to drip off. Neat and strain the oil it can be reused 3 periods. 

When all set to serve, location the hen on the rack in a 400º F oven to heat by means of and crisp the pores and skin. Meanwhile, take out the potatoes from the h2o, and crush by hand. In a tabletop fryer or significant, significant-bottomed pot, heat the frying oil to 350º F. Fry the potatoes until golden brown. Set apart on paper towels to drain, and season with salt and pepper. Serve a mound of potatoes topped with chicken and conserva. You can also insert a bit of sautéed spinach if you like!

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