Mom's smoked-paprika chicken
Mom really got into the smoked Spanish paprika thing after I moved out of the house, which I find highly unfair. But I benefit from it when I’m in Pittsburgh, and I finally tried it myself last night. She uses it with amazing results on roast chicken; I rarely roast a whole bird, so I used thighs.
The smell of this meat as it cooks is overpowering, so keep a snack handy while it’s in the oven, or you may faint. Heating up the leftovers tonight was torture all over again.
I’ll give it to you straight from the horse’s mouth, not that she resembles a horse in any way: “You could try that paste I make for roast chicken: mix a big tablespoon of paprika, kosher salt, crushed garlic, a few drops of lemon juice, and enough olive oil dribbled in to make a paste, and then smear it on the chicken and roast it until it’s done. It makes the skin taste really good.”
And right she is. I rubbed some on and under the skin, and the chicken bursted with flavor. I used Rey de la Vera, which is widely available at fancy grocery stores in New York (such as Balducci’s). Kalustyan’s claims to have several varieties, including the elusive bittersweet.