This dish came about because I have peppers on the brain! My hot pepper plants are producing fruit like there is no tomorrow. Every time I pick some, they seem to multiply. My friend Kathleen also came over just before my dinner was decided upon, and plunked a pile of jalapeno peppers on my countertop, as well as a long green skinny pepper. She grew them just for fun but her husband doesn’t like peppers, so she can’t use them! I also had quite a few long red peppers from my CSA box (see top right of blog), so, after Kathleen left I had pretty much decided that peppers would dominate the evening meal.
I wanted to cook a more or less hands-off dinner, meaning I didn’t want to spend too much time over prepping ingredients. So I used the peppers whole for the most part, and chopped a few onions and got dinner into the oven in lightening speed. I had chicken drumsticks and think they always pair nicely with aromatic spices. I love the taste of cumin with peppers so I began to think about Indian food. I used a little turmeric for color and depth and added some sweet thyme sprigs from my garden.
I ended up with a fabulous chicken dish that suited the balmy evening temperatures. I adding some thinly sliced raw hot peppers to my plate which added a zingy heat to every bite.
Now what to do with all of those jalapenos? I see stuffed peppers in my future!
You will need: 10 chicken drumsticks, 2 whole chicken breasts, 4 tbs olive oil, 3 medium sweet onions, cut in half & sliced into 1/2 rounds, 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tbs cold unsalted butter, 6 long skinny red peppers, (or, 3 regular red peppers, seeded & quartered), 1 long green pepper, sliced, or, 1 small green pepper, thickly sliced, 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp powdered ginger, 2 tbs all-purpose flour, 3 cups chicken stock, 1/2 cup heavy cream, sea-salt and freshly ground black peppers for seasoning chicken, 1 very hot pepper such as fresh cayenne pepper, cherry bomb, or some other intense pepper, thinly sliced, (optional)
Preheat oven 400*
1 – Season chicken with a good sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put big saute pan on high heat and let it get hot before adding about 2 tbs of the oil. When oil is hot, add chicken in a single layer ( you may need to do this in batches so as not to crowd the pan, which prevents the chicken from browning). Sear chicken on both sides until browned. Remove to a plate. You will need to add more oil as you go.
2 – Pour off the oil and wipe pan if necessary. Turn heat down to medium and add 1 tbs of extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tbs of butter to pan. When melted, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3 – Add peppers and thyme sprigs, and cook for another minute. Add the spices and stir into onions. Add the flour and repeat the process.
4 – Add the broth and stir until everything is combined before adding the cream. Stir the cream into the liquid and then return the chicken to the pan. *If your pan is not big enough or is not oven-proof, transfer everything to a heavy casserole pot with a lid.
5 – Bring liquid to a simmer. Cover and transfers to the oven for 45-50 minutes. If the meat on the drumsticks is soft and pulls away easily from the bone, it is cooked.
* If you are going to serve this with rice as I did, cook while chicken is in oven, and keep warm until time to serve.
6 – Remove from oven and leave covered for about 15 minutes before serving. This gives the flavors a chance to mature. (This can also be cooked earlier and reheated gently on stove-top).
I served this with Indian rice of course! I also garnished with some slices of hot pepper for whoever wanted some heat.