A few weeks ago I flew out to Portland for a long weekend with some girl friends, and we spent 72 hours eating our way around the city. Did we plan our whole trip around food? Definitely yes. And. It. Was. AMAZING. The food scene in Portland is crazy good, you guys.
A sampling of what we ate, in no particular order: blueberry cheesecake waffles, artisanal cured meats & cheeses, fried chicken, shrimp & grits, gourmet donuts (Mexican hot chocolate, bourbon basil blueberry, lemon poppyseed, raspberry buttermilk, and maple bacon), grilled octopus skewers, and some sort of seed-crusted seared scallops. We walked away from every meal totally stuffed, our taste buds 100% satisfied.
We ate a lot of delectable and interesting food in Portland, but one of my favorite dishes from the trip was a simple roasted chicken thigh served with roasted carrots, fingerling potatoes, and an amazing green sauce (which we thought was pesto but actually turned out to be salsa verde). The skin on that chicken was golden-brown and crispy, the meat was juicy, the carrots and potatoes were roasted perfectly, and that salsa verde was bright and tangy and good enough to eat with a spoon. It was a riot of colors, flavors, and textures on one plate.
Such a simple dish, but so amazingly executed. We devoured every last scrap of food on the plate, and washed it all down with many glasses of chilled white wine.
Not gonna lie – I’ve been dreaming about that chicken dish since we left Portland. Just thinking about it now makes my mouth water. So when Santa Rita asked me to come up with a summer-inspired recipe to pair with some of their wines (a Sauvignon Blanc and a Red Blend from their 120 line), I knew I was going to have to go with chicken.
Grilled instead of baked in honor of summer grilling season, and seasoned with a zesty Badia Complete spice blend (onion, cumin, garlic, and other herbs) for some punch, but otherwise true to the key elements of crispy skin, juicy meat, and complemented by fresh roasted veggies and a bright/herb-y/summer-y sauce. All of which, as it happens, go great with a nice fruity Sauvignon Blanc!
Grilling can be a bit of a challenge when you live in a condo like we do. Balcony grills/smokers are banned by our HOA (fire hazard), and the charcoal grills behind the building are pretty dirty (also, who just has charcoal and lighter fluid lying around???). But, we don’t let that stop us from getting our summer grilling on!
Nothing beats flame-grilled meats, but in a pinch, electric grills can be pretty handy. You won’t get any of that smokey taste that comes from wood chips or charcoal, but you can still get a nice sear/char on your meats and everything cooks beautifully.
We’ve used our electric grill for steaks, chicken, salmon, pork chops, and even pizza dough, and all of it has turned out to be shockingly good. These grilled chicken thighs were no exception. The skin took on a lovely char from the grill and crisped up beautifully (though maybe not quite as crisp as it would have gotten in the oven), while the meat underneath stayed juicy and tender. The Badia spices added a bit of Latin flair to the dish, and was the perfect complement to the earthy root veggies and sharp, tangy herbaceous sauce. Overall, it was hearty but not heavy, not over-rich, and simple yet satisfying.
The fruity, slightly acidic Sauvignon Blanc that we enjoyed with our meal also paired particularly well with the dish. The citrus-y notes of grapefruit, lime and lemon peel helped cut through the richness of the dark meat and fatty chicken skin, and were rounded out by a nice fruity (peachy) finish that lingered on the tongue. I’m generally not a fan of white wine, but I found myself enjoying this one a lot.
Was this meal an exact replica of the one I enjoyed so much in Portland? No. But it was pretty dang close. And, it all took me less than an hour to cook from start to finish, and I could enjoy it from the comfort of my own home, so some might say this was even better.
Want to try it for yourself? Scroll down for the recipe!
A big thanks to Santa Rita for sponsoring this post, and for the wonderful samples. I have been compensated for this post; however, all opinions are my own.
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- 4 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Badia Complete Seasoning
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley, trimmed off the hard stems and roughly chopped.
- 1 large egg, hard boiled and peeled
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 tbsp capers, drained
- 2 anchovy fillets, de-boned
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Place your chopped parsley, egg, garlic, capers, anchovy, olive oil, and red wine vinegar into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour mixture into a container and seal. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Drizzle the olive oil over your chicken thighs. Use your hands to rub the oil all over each piece of chicken so that everything is coated in a thin layer of oil.
- Sprinkle Badia seasoning evenly on the top and bottom of each piece of chicken. Use hands to rub seasoning into the chicken.
- Season each thigh with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place thighs skin-side down on your hot grill. Cook uncoverefor about 10 minutes until skin is crisped and golden brown/charred.
- Lower the heat on your grill to medium. Flip thighs over and continue to cook them uncovered for another 20 minutes.
- Spoon some salsa verde onto a plate.
- Add some roasted carrots and potatoes to the plate.
- Top with grilled chicken thighs.
(Italian Salsa Verde very slightly adapted from The Iron You)
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