I have no vegetables recipes or pictures today. I didn't get around to taking any pictures of our beautiful box of vegetables we picked up yesterday evening and we just ate leftovers for dinner along with some chicken. Stand out leftovers though, if I do say so myself. The beet salad I made just got better and better and BETTER in the refrigerator. Last night we had some of that still sitting in there as well as some leftover green beans and tomatoes and we kinda tossed it all together and ate it all cold from the refrigerator. Honestly—it was one of the best things I've ever eaten. I know, I know…sounds like hyperbole but it was heavenly. Yes, the beet juice turned things pink but you can't let a bit of pink bother you! I used a simple new recipe (more of a technique) for some chicken thighs which I will share with you after I ramble a bit more.

I realized that in the last few weeks I have been enjoying cooking so much more than I had been for some time. Last night's simple, somewhat rushed preparation of some chicken and leftover vegetables was a pleasure. We all go through phases I suppose and I'd been feeling distinctly uninspired of late. Somehow getting these boxes from Sola Gratia and meeting the challenge of making sure we use them all and sometimes use things we wouldn't probably have stepped up to buy—–well, it's reinvigorated me. These straight from the field, local vegetables feel like much more than just some side dishes or ingredients. The whole experience of supporting this venture and being part of it….it's proven to be more inspiring than I could have guessed. So thank you Bob, Dex and all the other people that have been part of making this happen.

I actually dreamed about making vinaigrette last night…..for some vegetables of course.

Now, until my next vegetables recipe of choice I will tell you how I've made some chicken thighs taste better than I could have expected. I came across this recipe on the website Dinner: A Love Story which is often good for inspiration itself. If we had a gas grill we would probably have tossed them on that but we didn't feel like waiting for charcoal (although I am still, as they say, deeply committed to charcoal) so we cooked them quickly and there were divine (particularly with the leftover beet salad, beans, and tomatoes)!

Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

"Sophisticated enough for a Sunday supper yet quick enough for Wednesday's dinner, this master recipe is all in the technique. Cook the thighs skin side down in a cast-iron skillet to render out the fat and make the skin as crisp and, dare we say, delicious as bacon."

2-4 main-course servings
  • ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes
  • TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes
June 2011
  • 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Preheat oven to 475°. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12" cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  • Transfer skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.
My cast iron pan wasn't quite big enough so I used my big Le Creuset. The high sides may have changed things but it was still roasted and crispy and they kept the spattering inside the pan.
What are you cooking this week?