Chicken quarter, the leg and thigh portions, just happen to be the perfect portion for two—which features all the best parts of the bird. This dish highlights succulent dark meat with a spice rub of sweet paprika, ground coriander, garlic powder and a hint of crushed red pepper flakes, for a mild kick. To a ensure tasty, crispy-skinned meat, browning the chicken skin on the stovetop in a cast-iron skillet will give you the best results before roasting it in the oven. The chicken was served over a bed of stewed collard greens and onion and spooning warm, homemade maple butter on top—a sweet, rich mix of melted butter, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar.
I made this dish a second time, but instead of drizzling the chicken with maple butter, I switched it up a bit and used my Grand’s recipe for White Barbecue Sauce, making it a twist of classic southern barbecue chicken.
You see, White Barbecue Sauce is a regional favorite found in the foot hills of Appalachian Mountains of Northern Alabama. Pit master, Bob Gibson is credited with concocting white sauce back in 1925. This tangy, mayonnaise-based condiment was traditionally used to dress chicken. But today, just about every BBQ joint in the area has a white barbecue sauce on their menu, and use it on their meats, and place it on their tables. You can eat it with everything from french fries to bread to chicken and ribs. This unique, tangy flavor is the perfect compliment to just about everything.
To make a White Barbecue Sauce you only need four ingredients: mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and coarsely ground pepper. But my Grand’s recipe called for a little buttermilk and just a touch of heavy cream, to give it a dressing like consistency.
To be perfectly honest, being a Southern girl, I preferred my Grand’s White Barbecue Sauce…….
Adapted from Blue Apron, 2015
2 Chicken leg and thigh quarters
1 Yellow Onion
½ bunch collard greens
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
2 Teaspoons Spice Blend (Garlic Powder, Smoked Sweet Paprika, Ground Coriander and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes)
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Prepare the ingredients:
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove and discard the collard green stems; roughly chop the leaves. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion. Pick the thyme leaves off the stems; discard the stems.
For the Chicken:
Line a sheet pan with foil. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and as much of the spice blend to taste.Sprinkle the skinless side with half the thyme. In a medium pan , heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin side down. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until the skin is browned and crispy. Turn off the heat. Transfer the browned chicken, skin side up, to the prepared sheet pan, leaving any browned bits in the pan on the stovetop.
Place the browned chicken in the oven and roast 24 to 26 minutes, or until cooked through.Remove from the oven.
For the Collard Greens:
While the chicken roasts, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved brown bits and heat on medium until shimmering. Add the onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the collard greens and ⅓ cup of water. Cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, 18 to 20 minutes, or until the collard greens are wilted and very tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and set aside in a warm place. Rinse and wipe out the pan.
For the Maple Syrup Butter:
Make the make the maple syrup butter, just before serving, heat the pan used to cook the collard greens on medium until hot. Add the butter, maple syrup and vinegar;season with salt and pepper. Cook, occasionally swirling the pan, 1 to 2 minutes, or until bubbling and thoroughly combined.Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve , transfer the roasted chicken to the serving dish of cooked collard greens. Top with the maple butter. Garnish with the remaining thyme. Enjoy!