As you know, The Goddess loves fruit with savory things. The spices are the “warm” spices—allspice, coriander, smoked paprika. And nectarines. There isn’t much that’s better than a juicy, ripe nectarine, eaten out of hand, with the juices running down your chin. God, I need a cigarette, just thinking about it. This dish combines the sweetness of nectarines, sweet potatoes and juicy chicken thighs seasoned with those “warm” spices, all in one pan. This is loaded with complex and delicious flavors. The sweet potatoes are a nice addition. The slight sharpness of the nectarines are a good balance for the sweet potato. And guess what? Allspice is great with them, too. This is a really nice end-of-summer dish, and that’s pretty much where we are right now. The warm spices take the chill off. And the nectarines are a nice reminder that summer will come again. This is a one-pan dinner. You can put it together, partially cooked and refrigerate it. Then into the oven, pour yourself a little (or a lot) wine and relax. The spices do get quite dark…frankly they look burned, but they aren’t. I’m giving you the method in pictures.
By the way, the leftovers make a terrific chicken salad…very autumnal!
Spice Island Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Onions and Nectarines
- 6 large chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet (or hot) smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into large 1-inch cubes
- 1 large onion, cut into wedges from top to bottom
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika or red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 large nectarines, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl. Add the spices, salt, pepper, soy sauce, orange juice concentrate and cornstarch; rub the mixture into the thighs. Set aside for at least 1 hour at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the fridge.
When ready to prepare, heat a large skillet over medium high heat; skim with oil. Place the thighs, skin-side down. Leave them alone; do not move them until they brown. When the skin side is browned nicely, turn the thighs, cook on side two for about 4 minutes. The thighs won’t be cooked through. Remove the thighs from the pan; drain all but about 2 tablespoons of fat. Add the sweet potato chunks; sprinkle with the spices and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, just until they begin to brown, turning as needed. You just want to brown them; this will take about 4-5 minutes. Add the onions wedges; toss. Return the chicken to the skillet, tucking the thighs into the sweet potato chunks. Drizzle the wine along the edge of the pan, not over the thighs.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the pan in the oven; roast for 35 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, scatter the nectarine wedges evenly around the chicken. Return the pan to the oven and continue roasting for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is done and the potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven. Serve immediately.
NOTE: You may thicken the juices with a cornstarch slurry, if you wish. You may use peach wedges or pineapple chunks, instead of the nectarines.
Spice Island Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Onions and Nectarines Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.