Warning: This post contains anchovies. I hesitate to warn you because if you are anything like my mom, or if you are my mom, you have probably already stopped reading. And that would be a mistake! Because there is nothing to be scared of. But I was afraid if I didn’t warn you, you would get to the end and discover the tiny fish in the recipe and feel duped, and never trust me again. And after you took all that time to read this…
I hope you stay though, because these are not offensive anchovies. In fact, if you came over and I made this for you and you didn’t already know about the anchovies, I don’t think you’d be the wiser. It would be such a dirty trick (my dad totally does this to my mom – luckily for him she’d rather eat hidden anchovies than cook, so…) but that’s the thing about anchovies. Unless they are sitting there on top of a pizza staring at you, often times you’d never know they were there…
The strangest thing about this recipe is actually not the anchovies at all. It is the fact that you are asked to grill a piece of chicken that has been breaded with breadcrumbs. That is very strange. Until I did it, I couldn’t quite imagine how it was going to work. I suspect the next time I try this (and there will be a next time, because it is delicious) I will try just pan frying it because I did lose some crumbs and presumably they would stick a bit better that way. Or maybe not! There has to be a reason that grilling was suggested in the first place. I will keep you posted
Regardless of the cooking method (you could absolutely bake these too, methinks) these are great. The garlic (lots of it) packs a great punch, the anchovies add a ton of good salty-umaminess and the parsley adds an awesome freshness. It’s an excellent combo. And I would totally make these green beans (or snap peas as the original recipe suggested) by themselves. They were delicious on their own!
You don’t have to be afraid of these ‘chovies, I promise.
Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Crumbs and Green Beans (serves 2)
adapted from Food & Wine
3 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/2 lb green beans, ends trimmed
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
In a food processor, combine 2 of the anchovy fillets with the bread crumbs, garlic, parsley and 1/4 cup of the olive oil; process until evenly blended.
Season the chicken thighs with salt. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the bread crumb mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a pot of boiling, salted water, blanch the green beans until bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and pat dry.
Grill the chicken thighs over moderate heat until they are lightly charred, crisp and cooked through, about 10 minutes per side. Transfer the thighs to a platter.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and the remaining anchovy fillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the green beans and cook, tossing a few times, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season the green beans with salt and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve the chicken with the green beans.