Weeknight Chicken: Hot Pepper Chicken Under a Brick

I couldn’t resist the title — hot pepper chicken — so I decided to make this dish last night.  The chicken was less spicy than I anticipated but it had nice flavor!

This was a very easy dinner to make because after seasoning the chicken and coating with the mustard and red pepper flakes combo, the chicken just cooks on the stove top with no tending required.  I was able to easily make the salad, dressing, and pepper topping for the chicken as the chicken cooked.

I wanted to use bone-in, skin-on breasts because I was afraid boneless, skinless breasts would dry out.  But the store was out of all chicken breasts except boneless skinless.  I cooked them for ~20 minutes (5 minutes less than the recipe states) and they remained moist.

One note on the “under a brick” method of cooking…I did not have a brick handy in our apartment so I just placed a plate on top of the foil and some canned tomatoes on the plate to weigh it down.  This worked well.  But I should warn you to be careful as you lift the plate away — a lot of heat and steam gets trapped under the plate.  Definitely wear oven mitts and lean back a bit.

The sweet dressing for the salad was a nice complement to the spice of the chicken.

Overall a good weeknight meal!

Hot Pepper Chicken Under a Brick

Rachael Ray Magazine

  • 4 large chicken legs and thighs, or 4 chicken breasts
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 4 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch arugula or watercress, chopped
  • 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped (a generous handful)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped jarred banana pepper rings plus 2 tablespoons of their juice
  • Crusty bread, for mopping

Season the chicken with salt and black pepper. In a small dish, combine 2 tablespoons EVOO, the mustard and the crushed red pepper. Spread the mixture all over the chicken. Place the chicken, meaty side down, in a nonstick skillet. Set a piece of foil loosely over the chicken, then place a plate or smaller pan on top and weight it down with a brick or cans. Cook the chicken over medium heat until cooked through, 25 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, whisk together the vinegar, marmalade and poppy seeds, then stream in the remaining 3 tablespoons EVOO. Toss the tomatoes, cucumber and Arugula with the dressing and season with salt and black pepper. In a small bowl, combine the parsley, banana peppers and pepper juice. Top the chicken with the parsley-pepper mixture and serve with the salad and the bread.

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