Today I’m sharing a recipe for Crispy Chicken Thighs with Kumquat Relish and Freekeh Salad.
Today’s post is sponsored by Blue Apron. I’ve recently had the opportunity to try 3 yummy delivered-to-your-door meals and now I’m here to dish about it. All opinions are my own and though I’m dying to keep this short and sweet for you, I may ramble just a tad.
Of course by a tad, I mean a lot! Let’s do this!
How Blue Apron Works
Blue Apron is a meal delivery service that sends you farm fresh ingredients straight to your door. These chef-designed meals are mapped out in easy to follow instructions on the colorful photo recipe cards, making meal prep and execution a breeze. The mix of familiar and not-so-familiar ingredients makes it exciting, and everything is clearly labeled so you won’t mix up Sriracha with tomato paste and spend the remainder of the evening fanning your face.
It kind of reminds me of those craft box subscription services, but instead of having some weird paper crane sitting around the house, you have an awesome meal to enjoy with your family. Depending on the plan you choose, each meal ranges from $8.74-$9.99 in cost and you can pick and choose which weeks you’d like to receive an order without hassle or commitment. You also get a little peek at what’s to come for the upcoming week and can decide based on that. For couples, think of it as a dinner date night delivered to your door. For families? Um hello lifesaver on a busy week with zero time to shop or plan. You can read a little more about the plans and details here.
my first impression of blue apron
My box-o-goodies could not have come at a better time, I was almost entirely out of fresh produce and failing miserably at meal planning. I’ve also noticed that lately I’ve fallen back into a food rut of sorts. Paul has been requesting more meat dishes “for the blog” [aka for his belly] so when I noticed Blue Apron had both vegetarian and omnivore options for their meal delivery, I jumped at the chance to road test the T-Rex package. I spent so many years as either a partial or a full-fledged vegetarian, that I honestly don’t know many ways to cook meat. Aside from seafood, bacon, and a few simple poultry dishes, I’m utterly clueless.
I vowed that no matter what came my way I would cook it, and relish the chance to try something new. Little did I know that it wasn’t just the meat that would take me outside my comfort zone, but the veggies and grains too! The ingredient lineup for the meals contained freekeh, kumquats, tatsoi, tarragon, rainbow chard, and wakame, all of which I have never cooked in my life. Hello awesome!
I went through the full Jessie Spano range of emotions,
“I’m so excited! I’m so excited! I’m so… scared!”
before settling into a calm, cool, and collected Barney Stinson:
The quality of the produce and ingredients was oustanding! Everything was chilled, crisp, fresh and ready to be scarfed. I was worried when the package arrived that I would have to make all three recipes back to back or risk the produce going bad, but everything kept wonderfully and I was able to space the recipes throughout the week quite easily.
Of course the chickpea did the majority of the work!
Paul made my sassy little sous chef a wooden learning tower so she could help in the kitchen. It’s been very well seasoned by food, paint, and crayons over the past few months and allows my little mini-me to get a hands on experience with food at an early age. Clearly she was super interested in the rainbow chard – can you blame her? It’s so vibrant!
Let’s get cooking!
All of the meals took around 40 minutes or less from start to finish and came with super-detailed recipe cards with step-by-step instructions and photos. With all the guesswork taken out of the equation, all we had to do is follow our handy “cheat sheets” which made navigating all of these new-to-us ingredients a breeze.
Suddenly the once-intimidating ingredients became easy peasy to work with and I loved learning a few new chef-crafted techniques along the way. In the recipe below, I would have never thought to dice up the stem of the rainbow chard after removing the leaves from it and I adored the foil and pan trick for the crispy chicken. We expected to love the salmon dish the most since it was closest to our usual eats, but holy freekeh, batman – this dish was amazing. I already want to make it again! Especially the freekeh salad – it was freekeh awesome lol!
Crispy Chicken Thighs with Freekeh Salad
Crispy Chicken Thighs with Kumquat Relish and Freekeh Salad
- Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the freekeh. Cook, stirring occasionally, 18 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a bowl.
While the freekeh cooks, prep your produce:
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Thinly slice the kumquats into rounds. Separate the rainbow chard leaves and stems; roughly chop the leaves and thinly slice the stems, keeping them separate. Pick the tarragon leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Using your hands or a small knife, break the pecorino cheese into small pieces. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Roughly chop the almonds.
- While the freekeh continues to cook, heat a medium pan on medium-high until hot. Add the kumquats, shallot, vinegar, sugar and ¼ cup of water; season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. Wipe out the pan.
- Next pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Using the pan used to make the relish, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin side down; loosely cover with aluminum foil. Place a large, heavy pot on top of the foil to press the chicken down; fill the pot halfway with water. Cook, occasionally pressing the pot down, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the skin is browned and crispy. Set the pot aside. Flip the chicken; cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any drippings and browned bits in the pan.
- Next add rainbow chard stems and 2 tablespoons of water to the pan you used to cook the chicken. Cook, stirring frequently, for about a minute, or until slightly tender. Add the rainbow chard leaves; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to the bowl of cooked freekeh.
- Add the pecorino cheese and almonds to the bowl of cooked freekeh and rainbow chard. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the tarragon into the kumquat relish. Divide the freekeh salad and chicken between 2 dishes. Top with the kumquat relish.
This recipe calls for bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. You could also use whichever cuts you happen to have handy as well as easily adapt this dish to work with seared seafood or crispy pan-fried tofu!Recipe courtesy of Blue Apron. For step-by-step photos check out their website!
If you get a chance to try this Crispy Chicken Thighs with Freekeh Salad, let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!
We LOVED it! I’m absolutely making the soup again… and the freekeh salad of course! Ooh and the kumquat relish… and the glazed beets and carrots.. and… I think you get the point. I don’t gush for the sake of gushing, and I am seriously crushing on Blue Apron right now. P and I already decided we’re going to order again before our move, since our fridge will be beyond bare at that point and a little dropbox of food would save us from fast food blah-dom. There’s even a full online collection of free recipes on their site!
Ohmygosh and I cannot write this review without mentioning the fact that BLUE APRON GOT MY HUSBAND TO EAT BEETS AND LIKE IT!!!
I’m scream-squealing. Be very, very glad you can’t hear me right now. I’ve been trying every trick in the book to get him to even lick a beet and nothing has worked. Yet shove him in the kitchen with a Iron Chef-esque box of produce and a challenge and suddenly he’s a beet munching, rainbow chard crunching, aficionado. Hallelujah!
Big thanks to the folks at Blue Apron for the reader discounts and for sponsoring this post. It was an awesome experience full of delicious food and now Paul eats beets! Cue happy dance.