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Author Notes: Blackening was all the rage in the ’80s—largely thanks to Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen, which published a recipe for blackened redfish. The cheat sheet: a lot of butter and a lot of spices. Today, you can buy Prudhomme’s blackening blend—in a 24-ounce container, no less. Or, the Zatarain’s counterpart (beware if you avoid MSG). Or, you can make your own. This recipe yields about 3/4 cup, which will happily live in your pantry. It’s beloved by all seafood—think thin fillets like the redfish original, or broiled shrimp, or pan-seared scallops. Also great: vegetables, smash burgers, chicken. With the last, I like to pound breasts until thin to reduce cooking time. If any protein is in the pan too long, it’ll become too blackened. —Emma Laperruque
Food52 Review: This recipe is part of Change The Way You Cook, a new series to help anyone (yes, you!) become smarter, faster, and more freewheeling in the kitchen. —The Editors
- 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1–1 1/2 teaspoons ground cayenne, depending on your spice tolerance
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir.
Chicken with Green Onion Yogurt
- 1 cup Greek yogurt, preferably full-fat
- 1 bunch green onions (about 9 stems), finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- Combine the yogurt, chopped onions, and salt in a bowl and stir. Taste and adjust the salt as needed.
- Set a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and preheat for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken. Set 1 breast between parchment sheets and use a meat mallet or any other sturdy object—even a rolling pin—to pound until thin; figure about 1/2-inch. Repeat with the other chicken breast.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the microwave (or in a small pot on the stove). Brush on both sides of the chicken breasts, then season generously with blackening blend—roughly 1 teaspoon per side.
- When the cast-iron is preheated and practically smoking, add the remaining tablespoon butter to the pan and swirl until melted. Immediately add the spiced chicken breasts. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the bottom is deeply charred and releases easily from the pan. Flip, then cook for another 3 or so minutes, until the other side is just as colorful.
- Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving with the green onion yogurt alongside.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!