My problem with this lockdown is that it is painfully partial. Friends and colleagues who are single or married without kids are bursting with boredom. I see them winging about “not having enough to do” every darn day, all over my social media. They can’t seem to decide whether to bake a 4-tier rainbow cake, or to learn a new language, in order to kill time. The poor souls.
The other lot in my social media – the married, work-from-home ones with bigger kids – well, they have been pretty much MIA for a while now. No more dinner pics, book reviews or movie musings. Somewhere between the 9-6 work-from-home madness with kids stuck at home with them and the e-learning disaster, they seem to have choked up on life. Every day turning into a rat race to cling onto their job and to make sense out of the lessons that keeps churning out in the school learning app. Time, is definitely not aplenty for these souls.
Falling into the latter group, I’m obviously appreciating quick meals a whole lot more now. Like my ultimate one pot meal, my lifeline, the Baked Paprika Chicken. The kids love it because its flavorsome and non-spicy, the mister enjoys it because it’s actually kind of delicious and well, he’s got no much choice, does he? And I prefer cooking it because it’s so damn easy and satisfying.
Disclaimer – This is a self-made recipe, meaning, every time I make it with no specific recipe instructions. The quantities and ingredients vary, depending on where my whims take me. However, predominantly the recipe goes as follows.
A full chicken (fresh), skin on
Butter – 4-5 small cubes (slightly softened)
Paprika powder – 2 tbsp
Peri-peri sauce – 1 tbsp
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Pepper – freshly cracked 1 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp (based on preference)
Dijon mustard – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Cajun spice – 1 tsp (optional)
Step 1 – Wash and pat the chicken dry with paper towel.
Step 2 – Mix the above marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Apply this all over the chicken and inside the cavities.
Step 3 – Gently lift the skin of the chicken if you can and insert the butter cubes – over the breast, thighs etc.
Step 4 – Oven should be preheated at 180 degrees Celsius. Bake the chicken in an oven-proof dish for almost 1 hour 30 mins at 180 degrees. Turn the chicken over half-way and pour spoonfuls of the sauces from the dish over the chicken so its soaked in flavor. Turn the heat down to 160 degrees for the last 30 minutes. I do not cover it in foil, nor do I bother to tie the legs. I’m rogue that way.
Let sit for a bit, take out and serve with the sauce in the dish. Grill vegetables with herbs and have it on the side, or mash, or even rice or chappati. I’ll leave that decision-making to you. We usually have just a loaf of bread to mop up the sauces.
Few points to mention –
- I use fresh chicken always. Just the normal ones, not organic. So I’m guessing you will need to bake it for longer time if you are using organic chicken.
- The Paprika powder I use is Bayara. Any brand should suffice.
- I use the Nando’s peri-peri sauce. Garlic, medium, hot – all have worked for me.
- If you have, use flavored salt. Like lemon garlic salt or so. Adds to the flavor.
- Leave an additional layer of pepper cracked on the top of the chicken as you keep it for baking. Just for some added glam.
I must have made this around 37 times in the last 6 months alone. One of the few things my kids eat without a fuss. Infact, while its baking in the oven, the aroma drives them into the kitchen, and they start demanding I serve the chicken NOW. Those BRATS.
If you try making this dish sometime, I’d LOVE to know how it worked out for you. If its flopped, I’d be happy to investigate with you. If it’s aced, it will boost my ego a lot. So feel free to share it with me, DM or tag me with @neenu_foodkissed on Instagram.
A walking epitome of food-lust, permanently craving for chicken, cheese & chocolates of all and every form. A marketing and content writing professional living in Dubai with my husband, who has learnt to be the perfect side-kick in food explorations around the world. If you find me raiding the fridge at ungodly hours, I'm just inspiring my tummy.
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