Soul Food Junkies

8 Healthy Soul-Food-Inspired Recipes

baked chicken on wood surface with mustard-colored sauce in condiment jar

Smoked Paprika Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

This crowd-pleaser is quick, easy, economical, and finger-licking good. Just be sure to prep the brine 24 hours before roasting the chicken. Chef Jacquie Steiner recommends using good-quality smoked Spanish paprika if possible. It makes a real difference in the results.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken (approximately 3 pounds) butterflied (take out the back bone and flatten, or buy it pre-butterflied)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 whole garlic cloves, peeled

Preparation

24 hours before roasting your chicken, dry chicken with paper towels. Mix salt and smoked paprika together in a bowl. Rub salt-and-paprika mixture all over chicken and under skin to coat the meat. Place on a tray or dish and refrigerate uncovered. This will make the skin of the chicken crispy, and the salt acts as a dry brine so your chicken is moist as well.

Preheat oven to 450°F (convection roast if you have this option on your oven. It is best!). Take chicken out of fridge for 30 minutes to bring to room temperature. hrow the garlic cloves in the roasting pan. (Tip: Use a pan that best fits the chicken snugly. Don’t use too large of a pan.) Place chicken skin side up in roasting pan on top of the garlic.

Coat chicken with a little olive oil. Cover roasting pan with foil. Roast for 20 minutes, covered. Take foil off chicken and roast for 20 more minutes until skin is nice and crispy and meat thermometer reads 175°F. Let chicken rest for 10 to15 minutes before serving. Great on its own, but if you've had a favorite (healthy!) dipping sauce you've been hankering to try, this flavorful chicken can be an excellent complement to it.

This is a low-fat way to serve up super tasty chicken. You can also take the skin off after cooking if you want to save fat calories. Call dibs on the breast meat for the lowest fat content. Because you've seasoned the chicken under the skin, the entire bird will be flavorful.

Chef Jacquie Steiner’s appreciation of good food began in childhood. When Steiner was nine years old, her mother injured her back and couldn’t cook. Steiner happily took over culinary duties for her entire family. She has been creating in the kitchen nearly every day since, and eventually made her passion into her profession.

“Cooking has always been a labor of love. It's gratifying to cook for other people. Food is more than mere sustenance or fuel for the body. It's soul,” says Steiner.

Steiner’s years cooking and working in the South influenced some of her favorite original recipes, including the dishes featured here.

Recipe courtesy of Jacquie Steiner, of Moveable Feast.