Coriander Crusted Chicken

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This Monday meal is a really unique spin on some old standards.  We all get tired of chicken because it’s nearly always in the weekly rotation.  Adding a spice you may not be used to is the best way to make something boring like chicken seem new, again!  This week that spice is coriander.  The seed of the cilantro plant, it has a tutti-fruity flavor and is commonly used in Indian cuisine.  It’s got a wonderful sweet/spicy appeal that makes it ideal for roasted chicken.  We first ran across this spice mix from acclaimed chef, Michael Symon, who combined coriander, cinnamon, cumin and Srirracha for the most unbelievable wings you’ll ever taste.  We’ve  brought those chicken wings to football parties, church potlucks and small get-togethers with friends and they are always gone first.

For this simple meal, I took a few of the spices from Symon’s original wing recipe and tossed the chicken legs in with them, plus some olive oil and roasted it.  Perfection!  They’d be even better if you put them in the rub the night before you were going to cook them.  We simply served the chicken with a side of Srirracha for a dipping sauce instead of making the wing sauce recipe.

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For the side, I did a simple roasted green bean/potato dish tossed with diced, caramelized purple onions.  Such a simple addition and it made the vegetables totally awesome.  Oh, and for my gluten/dairy avoiding friends, this meal is entirely safe for you!  FYI, just to keep things honest, Olive only ate the potatoes out of this dish.  She’s decided this week and last to boycott meats and most vegetables.  It’s been super fun…

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Coriander Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
serves 4

1 lb chicken legs, thighs, wings – just make sure they’re still on the bone.  Yes, this can be done with boneless, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time
2 tbs coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil

For the vegetables:
2 medium sized potatoes
1/2 lb fresh green beans, ends snipped
2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 red onion, diced
3 tbs olive oil

For the chicken: Preheat your oven to 450F.  Combine the coriander seeds, cumin, cinnamon, salt and olive oil in a gallon sized Ziploc bag.  Add the chicken legs and smush and toss and move them around inside the bag to coat all the pieces evenly.  Sometimes I open up the bag and have to move some of the top pieces down to the bottom cause the bottom pieces are spice-hogs.  Leave the bag in the fridge for 30 minutes while you prep all the rest of the vegetables for the meal.

Wash and cube up the potatoes into about 1/2″ cubes.  Snap the ends off your green beans and wash them and pat them dry.  Toss the potatoes and green beans together with the 2 tbs of olive oil and spread them out on a greased, rimmed baking sheet.  Season with a good sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and set pan aside.  Take your chicken out of the fridge and arrange the pieces on a greased, foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet.  Place the chicken in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.  Put the potatoes and green beans in the oven on the lower rack beneath the chicken and get on with your onions.  In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 3 tbs of olive oil over medium heat and cook the onions till they are golden, usually 10-15 minutes.

Check the potatoes and green beans when the timer for the chicken goes off.  If they haven’t turned golden and slightly crispy, leave them in there.  Check the temp of the chicken with a probe thermometer.  If it’s 165, they are done and you can remove them from the oven.  They may take longer depending on the size of chicken pieces you used and the temp of your oven (all ovens lie just a little bit).  If your vegetables aren’t quite done when the chicken is, just tent the chicken with foil so they’ll keep warm.  The beauty of the vegetables is that if they get done faster than the chicken, they can easily be warmed in the microwave.  When the vegetables are done roasting, toss them in with the caramelized onions in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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