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  • Writer's pictureCRAIG BRYAN

Roast Chicken Thighs with Spiced Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Herbs

Roast chicken seems to cry for potatoes or rice or some other starchy side. But cauliflower can stand in as a hearty nutrient-packed companion for a fraction of the calories and carbs. In this recipe adapted from Ruby Tandoh’s “Cook as You Are” (Knopf, $35), the florets roast in a pan with skin-on thighs rubbed with bold spices, which are then tossed in a simple tangy dressing and showered with herbs and dried cranberries. Serves 4. RECIPE HERE. –

Susan Puckett


· 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

· 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

· 1 teaspoon ground coriander

· 1 teaspoon chili powder

· 1 teaspoon dried oregano

· Kosher salt

· 4 large or 8 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 ½ pounds)

· Florets from 1 medium head of cauliflower

· 3 tablespoons pine nuts

Dressing and garnish:

· 1 garlic clove, crushed or finely grated

· 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

· 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

· 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup

· Kosher salt and black pepper

· ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, mint, or a combination

· Several handfuls of arugula or spring mix leaves, optional

· Yogurt and flatbreads for serving, optional


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, paprika, coriander, chili powder, oregano, and a half teaspoon of salt to make a paste.

2. Place the chicken thighs in a roasting pan, at least 9-by-13 inches or larger. Rub the thighs all over and under the skin with the spice paste.

3. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, add the cauliflower and pine nuts, and toss well so that everything is evenly coated with the drippings and seasoning.

4. Return the pan to the oven for 20-25 minutes longer until the cauliflower is tender and mottled brown, and the chicken is crispy and cooked through (the juices should run clear when pierced with a knife.)

5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the garlic, olive oil, honey or maple syrup, and a ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper to taste until emulsified.

6. When the chicken is done, remove the pan from the oven, drizzle with the dressing, and toss to coat. Scatter with the chopped herbs and cranberries and serve, if desired, atop a handful of arugula or spring mix lettuce, with some of the juices spooned over. Yogurt and flatbread could be served on the side.

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