One of the things I miss the most during this pandemic is dining-in. It’s been almost 10 months since I’ve seen a waiter at my table smiling from ear to ear, eager to take my order. I miss it so much that I decided to write the title of this recipe like a menu item with just the ingredients. I always enjoyed that about restaurant menus. It’s always a bit of a mystery as to how the ingredients are put together, but enticing enough to get you to order it. The fact that the chef makes you take notice of what’s actually in a dish is something I admire, and that’s what makes dining out so fun.
Fresh ingredients matter in cooking, and even in tougher times, you can cook with good ingredients. What I appreciate about recipes like this one, is that there aren’t many things you need to make this dish, so it cuts down on the cost. I kept it simple on purpose, so that each and every ingredient is appreciated and gets full attention. Sometimes we tend to gulp our food too fast and don’t realize all the different textures and smells, and how our senses come alive when we eat. I’m guilty of that myself on occasion, because I get excited about a dish, and want to start enjoying it as fast as I can, without regard to the entire experience.
Crispy chicken is made in a skillet with a dusting of white rice flour, along with a few spices, to create a delicate crust. I prefer dark meat chicken, but you can substitute white meat, if you prefer, just cut down on cooking time by a few minutes. Fresh arugula makes a pleasant bed of bitterness to contrast the warm crispy chicken, and a simple dusting of Parmesan cheese adds a tad of saltiness to the dish. Good balsamic vinegar is something I recommend as a staple to any pantry because it’s usefulness is endless, especially when drizzled over this dish. The simplicity of this food is what makes it pop, so slow down and taste the ingredients, let them speak for themselves.
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/3 cup white rice flour or gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of black pepper
4 cups arugula
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
oil for cooking
- Remove chicken from packaging, and cut each thigh into thirds. In a small bowl, combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Dust chicken on both sides with dry rub.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil. After 2 minutes, add chicken in batches and crisp on both sides, about 6 minutes per side. Remove and place on a plate in a low oven, to keep warm until all chicken is cooked. Add more oil if necessary.
- On a platter, board or plates, place arugula. Top with warm chicken and dust with Parmesan. Drizzle balsamic over top and serve immediately. Enjoy!