Paprika Chicken Thighs with Roasted Root Vegetables and Kale

For people who love to cook, sharing recipes between friends is really something special.  One of my very dearest friends (you can visit her blog here) shared this recipe with me a few months ago when our families got together for dinner. She made this dish for us, and it was the best thing I'd eaten in a long time! I just had to add it to our regular meal plan because it's so tasty and healthy...in fact, I went out a few days later to buy the ingredients to attempt it myself.
I've put my own spin on the recipe and it has quickly become a family favourite at our house. I have a hunch you'll love it that much too!

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My friend originally followed a recipe from her sister-in-law's blog (found here), and another blogger I follow created a similar recipe that I also used for inspiration (although the methods are very different). You can find it here.

You'll need:

Olive oil (a tablespoon or so)
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, all visible fat trimmed
2-3 beets
2-3 potatoes
2-3 carrots
2-3 sweet potatoes
1 large onion (optional)
1/2 bunch of kale
A splash or two of white wine (use chicken broth instead, if you wish)
2 tbsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper

a heavy-bottomed, oven-safe fry pan (cast iron is ideal)
a saute pan and an oven-safe casserole dish

To make:

Start by prepping your vegetables. Feel free to use root vegetables that your family prefers (potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, yellow onions, turnips, parsnips, red onions, etc.); I listed the ingredients above that I used this time, but I've made this dish with a different combination of root vegetables every time and it always turns out well.

Wash, peel, and chop your root vegetables into pieces as uniform as possible. Peel and chop the beets last (if you're using them), since their juices dye just about anything they come into contact with once they're peeled. I loathe peeling vegetables, so I only peel the sweet potatoes and the beets and leave the skin on the carrots and the potatoes as long as they've been washed well.

Now is also a good time to stem and chop the kale. You can chop the kale as finely as you wish; our kids find it easier to eat if the pieces are smaller, so that's what I do. But if you prefer larger pieces then chop it according to your preference.

Once the kale has been chopped, set it aside and roughly chop and set aside the onion as well (if you're using it...my 2 and a half year-old daughter is on an onion strike at the moment, so I left it out).

Throw the potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots in a pot and add water until they're almost covered.

Set the pot over medium-high heat and cook the vegetables for about 8 minutes or until they're only slightly under-cooked and still on the firm side (you can check them with a fork).

Add the beets to a separate pot and cook them for the same length of time. This may seem like an unnecessary step, however if you add the beets to the pot with the other vegetables everything will be a big purple mess.

While the vegetables are cooking, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan (preferably one that's oven-safe) over medium-high heat and add some olive oil to the pan.

While the pan is heating, season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and 1 tbsp of paprika on the top-sides only (you'll season the bottom sides in a minute).

Add the chicken thighs to your saucepan upside down (seasoned side down).

Once the chicken hits the pan, don't move it for several minutes. This allows it to brown deeply and evenly, developing lots and lots of flavour. If you're worried about it burning turn the heat down to medium, but be aware that turning the heat down too low can prevent browning.

While the thighs are browning, season the other side with more salt and pepper and sprinkle on the remaining 1 tbsp paprika.

Once the chicken thighs have browned on one side, turn them over to brown on the other side. When you turn them, you should see this:


The goal here is not to cook the chicken thighs through completely, but to achieve a nice brown colour on both sides before they go in the oven to finish cooking through.

While the chicken thighs are browning it will likely be time to remove the root vegetables from the heat. Use a colander to drain the water and set the vegetables aside for a moment.

Once the other sides of the chicken thighs have browned, remove them to a plate using a set of tongs, leaving the pan on the heat with all the chicken juices left behind. 

Add a few splashes of white wine to the pan and stir up all the little brown bits left behind from cooking the chicken. Continue stirring until you can see that about half of the liquid has evaporated. 

Add the kale and the onion (if you're using it) and stir them around in the pan, allowing them to pick up all the flavour of the chicken bits, the paprika, and the wine. 

When the kale begins to wilt and the onion begins to soften, remove the pan from the heat.

Add the root vegetables to the pan and sprinkle some more salt and pepper on them before tossing them with the kale, the onion and the leftover sauce you've just created as you've deglazed the pan. 

(If your pan isn't oven-proof, now is the time to transfer the mixture to a casserole dish. It's probably a good idea to drizzle a little olive oil in it first.)

Lay the chicken thighs on top and nestle them into the root vegetables.

Looks pretty good so far, doesn't it?
Everything is only partially cooked, but the heat of the oven will finish it off. Transfer the pan to your oven that's preheated to 375 degrees and let it roast for about 25 minutes or until the chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Remove the pan from the oven and let the chicken and vegetables rest in the pan for a few minutes before serving. You'll notice the brown colour on the chicken will deepen as it roasts in the oven and the vegetables will soften in the middle and may turn a little crispy on one side (especially the potatoes).

This recipe serves 4-6 people, but it could easily be modified to increase the number of servings (using a large casserole dish).

One serving (2 chicken thighs and 1 heaping cup of vegetables) is only 10 WW PointsPlus.
This dish is comfort food at its finest, yet it's guilt-free and full of nutritious ingredients. 

Let me know if you try this one! I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!

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  1. This looks mouthwatering. I would never have thought about combining these flavours. I've pinned your recipe so that I can come back to it. Stopping by from Mom Bloggers.

    1. Thank you for stopping by! Let me know when you make it yourself :) I'd love to hear what you think!

  2. This sounds wonderful and will be giving this a try, since I moved to Hungary I seem to have assimilated the belief that everything tastes better with paprika and given that everything else is growing in our garden at the moment so will be a doubly satisfying early autumn dish :)

    1. I totally understand the obsession with paprika!! The paprika I used in this recipe was actually some I brought back from Romania! It's just so delicious in that corner of the world. And this is one of my favourite recipes of all time. I'm sure you'll love it too :)

  3. I love the combination of the beets added, one of my favorites.

  4. Love all of the photographs! The dish looks amazing! Love that you've combined a bunch of shared recipes, that's how I form some of my recipes too :)

  5. This is the perfect fall meal and it going on my "to make" list!

  6. What a delicious dinner meal, I can't wait to make it.

  7. Beautiful! Great combos of recipes!

  8. Looks like the perfect dish for Fall. Love how you put this together -- all that chicken wonderfulness dripping into the potatoes while it bakes adds so much flavor!

  9. This dinner looks so good. You have that chicken just perfect! I love the golden brown crispy skin. All in one pan cooking is my favorite! Yum!


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