Tag Archives: chicken thighs

I LOVE Chicken Thighs but HE CRAVES Chicken Breast; This ONE Dish works for both! (each dish variation serves 4)

This is a dilemma in my house; myself and my daughter love the leg and thigh of chicken, while my son and husband prefer the breast meat! It is not really a problem when you roast a whole bird, but when you want to make anything else it can turn into a problem.

Chicken baked in a mudhrrom cream sauce and topped with a cheddar dough crust

Chicken baked in a mushroom cream sauce and topped with a cheddar dough crust

One could argue that whatever I serve up for dinner should be eaten with very grateful hearts, and I have certainly gone down this road many times, but other times, when I’m feeling particularly generous, I what to give whomever I am cooking for exactly what they crave.

Two dishes, I method!

Two dishes, one method! (Read all my these super enamel dishes designed by Timo Sarpaneva  HERE!)

This is a fantastic solution and takes no more time than if you made one dish! The idea came to mind when I happen to be cleaning my kitchen and I saw my two identical baking dishes buried under some other pans. They screamed “USE ME!” and so I did, placing chicken thighs in one and chicken breast in the other, thereby satisfying us all without having to fish out the various parts for each plate.

you do have thyme to cook!

The thyme in my garden is still going strong!

This is a recipe you have to try if you are in the mood for true comfort food.

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You will need:

4 tbs olive oil or safflower oil

3 med/lrg chicken breast fillets

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 1/2 lbs mushrooms – diced (white or cremini will work equally)

2 medium onions – diced

4 garlic cloves – peeled and finely chopped

fresh thyme springs (if large use two, if very small use four)

freshly ground pepper

good quality salt (I used Celtic sea salt and Maldon salt to finish)

2 tbs unsalted butter

2 tbs all-purpose four

2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or water and 2 good quality bouillon cubes – I recommend Rapunzel brand)

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cups peas (this is optional and also if you don’t plan on making some greens to go with this – Frozen peas work great)

Dough Crust:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

several grinds black pepper

1 cup strong cheddar cheese – grated (optional)

8 tbs cold unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

* you will need two dishes – glass baking dish, cast iron, enamel shallow casserole or your favorite pan you use for the oven*

Method:

Preheat oven 425*

1 – Season the chicken with some pepper and salt. Put a saute pan on high heat and when it is hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Sear the chicken on both sides until browned. Do this in batches (in other words: don’t crown the pan or your chicken will steam and not crisp up!). Add more oil as needed. As you finish the chicken place the thighs in the bottom of one baking dish and the chicken in another. *When the chicken breast is cool enough to handle, slice into thick pieces and place back into the dish*

Season and sear the chicken

Season and sear the chicken

2 – Turn heat down to medium/low and add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes before adding the diced mushrooms. Turn heat up and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and butter and continue to cook until the mushrooms are nice and soft (about 8 more minutes).

saute onions, garlic, add butter and thyme

saute onions, garlic, add butter and thyme

3 – Add the flour and sir into the mushroom mixture and cook for about 1 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the broth one cup at a time stirring continuously. The mixture will start to thicken and get hot. Add the cream and stir. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce is thick and creamy. Taste for addition of salt and pepper and add according to your taste. *Add peas at this time if using*

Add mushrooms, make sauce

Add mushrooms, make sauce

4 – Pour equal amounts of the sauce over each dish and place in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.

divide sauce between the two pans

divide sauce between the two pans

5 – While chicken is cooking make the topping. Put flour along with the other dry ingredients into a big bowl and stir everything together with a whisk. Cut the butter into the flour and knead the butter into the flour until you have a fine rubble. Add the cheese (if using) and toss it in with your hands. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon (work from the outside scraping into the center). Add more milk if there are still dry pockets of flour. The mixture should feel slightly sticky. Set aside until ready to use.

Make dough and top the chicken halfway through cooking

Make dough and top the chicken halfway through cooking

6 – After 20 minutes, take chicken out of the oven and dot the dough over each in irregular mounds. Do this with your hands (it’s the easiest way) Place back into the oven for another 15 minutes or until the crust in a nice golden brown.

Remove when dough is golden brown and let rest for five minutes before serving

Remove when dough is golden brown and let rest for five minutes before serving

Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve as is or with veggies: boiled carrots and peas, sautéed spinach or other hearty green OR a big green salad!

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Simple Lemon Chicken with Zero Talent Required! (serves 6 – 8)

 It will take more time to read this recipe than it will take you to prepare this dinner – I’m dead serious! It is dinners like this that have saved me from ordering take-out many an evening and I suggest that you add this to your repertoire.

Fast Lemon Chicken

Fast Lemon Chicken

I made this last night because right when I should have been making dinner I had to pick my kids up from their grandmother’s house. How was I going to make dinner and have it ready when they got home if I was the one picking them up?

Easy: I put this together in 5 minutes, popped it into the oven and it was ready when we got home. It was so lovely to walk into the house and smell the wonderful aroma of roasting chicken.

The lemon and herbs in this dish made the flavor happen magically and it tasted like a dish that I had labored over  – I’ll never tell!

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*This is a Great Blood Type A Diet recipe, just omit the black pepper and pepper flakes if you are strict*

You will need:

1 1/2 lbs chicken thigh cutlets (that means, no skin and de-boned. They are sometimes called thigh oysters)

2 chicken breast fillets, cut in half lengthways

sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper flakes for seasoning

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 large sweet onion, halved, then sliced thinly

1 cup baby carrots (if very small leave them whole, if larger quarter them lengthways giving you “skinny sticks”)

1 sprig rosemary (about 3 inches)

4 sprigs thyme

1 lemon, quartered

3 cups chicken broth

Method:

Preheat oven 425*

1 – Prep veggies and season meat with salt and  pepper.

2 – Scatter onions, carrots, rosemary, thyme, and lemon in bottom of pan, roasting dish or baking tray. Add the broth. Place chicken breast on top in 4 completely separate spots. Lay one of the chicken things on top of each of the breast pieces and the rest of the things in-between.

3 – Sprinkle a little cayenne pepper flakes over the chicken (if using) and drizzle the entire dish with the oil.

4 – Place in your preheated oven for 40 minutes.

DONE!

DONE!

Remove from oven and remove the lemons and herbs. Serve with anything you like: pasta, rice, bread, boiled potatoes or a salad.

Pollo al Limone e Spaghetti (Lemon Chicken with Equally Lemon-y Spaghetti !) serves 6

This recipe came about because of the excess of lemons in our house due to my daughter’s Lemonade Stand this past Memorial Day (Read all about it HERE). I was in no way flummoxed as to what to do with bunches of lemons, as the lowly lemon can be thrown into so many dishes. With so many however I decided that the lemon flavor would be the star of this dinner.

A great use of lemons!

This dinner makes great use of lemons!

You may know that you can make a quick emulsion if you whip lemon and butter together. I have tasted many pasta dishes with a lemon zing, which is usually achieved by using this basic premise.

the zest of a lemon adds punch to any dish

The zest of a lemon adds punch to any dish

I had chicken, I had spaghetti, I had butter, and I had lemons: this dish is the result. What can I say; it will be a staple from now on!

a cool glass of good lemonade

A cool glass of good lemonade (I’m sure adding a shot of vodka or gin to this would make a great Summer cocktail!)

Cheers!

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You will need:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 cup water

sea-salt (for seasoning meat and to taste)

2 lbs chicken thigh cutlets (no skin, no bones)

1 medium red or sweet onion, diced

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

zest and juice of 3 lemons

8 tbs unsalted butter

sea salt & black pepper for seasoning

1 lb spaghetti pasta (I use Barilla brand)

Method:

Preheat oven 400*

* Cook the pasta while the chicken is resting. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining and reserve (you may need it at the end). Do not rinse the pasta. Add directly to the lemon sauce after draining*

1 – Scatter onions in bottom of big saute or roasting pan. Add zest from 1 lemon to pan, the water and 1/2 tsp of pepper flakes. 

scatter onion, lemon zest and pepper flakes into pan

scatter onion, lemon zest and pepper flakes into pan

2 –  Lay chicken on top (it is good if it’s snug). Season lightly with medium to coarse sea-salt, and the rest of the pepper flakes. Drizzle with the oil and place in the oven for

place chicken on top and season

Place chicken on top and season

3 – Remove chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil.

remove chicken to a plate

Remove chicken to a plate

4 – Put the pan on medium/high heat and add the lemon juice and remainder of the zest. Bring to a boil and let it bubble for 1 minutes. Take off heat.

add lemon juice and boil

Add lemon juice and boil

5 – Add butter and swirl into sauce until melted.Taste sauce for addition of salt and pepper and adjust according to your liking.

add butter

Add butter

6 – Add the pasta immediately and toss everything together.

add pasta

Add pasta

Serve as it is with a grating of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and more cayenne pepper flakes…

It is great without the chicken also!

Amazingly robust yet light pasta dish 

or you can also add chicken

I also cooked some brest meat for 1 person in ur house who cowers at the mention of dark meat

I also cooked some breast meat for 1 person in our house who cowers at the mention of dark meat

Seasoned Sausage & Chicken in Curried Cream

 This is the kind of dinner that requires little work but has great results. When I am at a loss as to what sorts of flavors I want to come up with for dinner, and I am low on things like fresh herbs, I turn to the foods that I buy specifically to get around these problems; these apple & onion sausages did all the work for this dinner in the flavor department.

Seasoned Sausage & Chicken in Curried Cream

Seasoned Sausage & Chicken in Curried Cream

I can’t say that I ever buy instant food to get me out of those nights when time is precious and hungry offspring are gnawing at my heels in search of dinner. I know that there are some frozen and packet meals that are good enough, but honestly, what is out there is mostly not that great (and I’m being nice).

My idea of instant food is buying say a piece of meat or fish that has been marinated in a mixture of herbs and spices for quick and convenient cooking, or the likes of the sausages that I used to whip up this great curry. And yes, curry powder is my other instant go-to food. Nowadays you can find some fabulous mixes and they last forever. The other trick is to buying a cut of meat that has no bones or skin to contend with (the chicken thighs for this dinner to be precise). I’m all for bouillon cubes and fresh frozen peas if it will keep you cooking healthy meals most evenings.

This dinner is a demonstration in how to make something that takes just a little longer to cook than a large frozen pizza or pasta dinner. Don’t you think that you and your family are worth it!

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You will need:

3 tbs olive oil

1 tbs unsalted butter

sea-salt & freshly ground black pepper for seasoning meat and to taste

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 lb seasoned sausage, cut into big pieces if it comes in a rope style (I used an Apple & Onion flavored sausage, but another kind will do just as well – do not use an Italian-style sausage as these flavors are too strong – stick with things like a Rosemary & White Wine sausage, Garlic & Onion etc)

2 medium sweet onions, cut in half, then into thin 1/2 rounds

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbs curry powder (I used a medium/hot variety from a great spice shop in NYC)

2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

1 bouillon cube & 2 cups water OR 2 cups chicken stock

1/2 tbs all-purpose flour

1/2 cup heavy cream

Method:

1 – Season chicken things with a little sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put pan or heavy casserole on high heat and add a couple of tbs of olive oil. When oil is hot sear chicken things until browned. Transfer to a plate as you go.

sear chicken

Sear the chicken

2 – Brown the sausages in the same way and set aside.

cook sausages seperatly

Brown the sausages

3 – Turn the heat down to medium and add the butter. When it melts add the onions and garlic. cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. Next add the spices and flour and mix together.

saute onions, add spices

Saute onions, add spices

4 – Add the bouillon cube and water (or chicken broth) and bring to a simmer. Add the cream and stir.

make sauce

Make sauce

5 – Place the chicken and sausage back into the pan in an even layer and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat and cover with lid. Place in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

assemble curry adn place in oven

Assemble curry and place in oven

Remove from oven and check to season more and if the sauce is the right consistency for you. If it is too thick add a little more cream or hot water and mix gently. serve with rice, pasta or bread. Of course a salad would be welcome too.

Serve with rice

Serve with rice, pasta or bread

Roasted Italian Sausage and Chicken with Green & Red Tomatoes and Fingerling Potatoes (serves 6)

 This dinner was all about using up lots of heirloom tomatoes I had sitting on my counter top. When I looked at these beautiful specimens sitting in my kitchen last night I couldn’t believe there was a time when I absolutely detested tomatoes!

My mother would put them in salads  and on plain bread, and try to get me to eat it. I would literally gag at the taste. I also remember never having tasted them cooked. She did not grow up making tomato based sauces. Indeed anything other than meat and potatoes was foreign to her recipe repertoire. She did not live in a time when a country like Italy had any influence over her cooking. It really was a far-away place. It is so different today!

If you never liked tomatoes, these ones would change your mind!

If I had tasted a tomato like any of the ones above, my love affair with the tomato would have started a lot earlier than in my 20’s. These tomatoes were sweet, meaty, and could have been eaten like an apple, (save for a sprinkle of sea-salt flakes and pepper with every bite!). 

I wanted the tomatoes in this dish to be the taste I remembered long after I was finished my dinner. I am happy to report today, that the tomato is still lingering.

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You will need: 6 boneless, skiness chicken thighs, 6 mild or hot Italian sausages, 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 4 green tomatoes or 4 ripe red tomatoes, thickly sliced (the green ones I used were heirlooms called Evergreen), 2 small red onions, large dice, leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary, 1 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup water OR 1 1/2 cups water with 1 veggie bouillon cube, coarse sea-salt, freshly ground black pepper, 2 lbs baby fingerling potatoes (or any variety of baby potato), washed and left whole, 1 head romaine lettuce (optional)

Preheat oven 400*

1 – Scatter the onions, tomatoes and rosemary into big saute pan or roasting dish. Add a sprinkle of salt and some grinds of pepper.

scatter onions, tomatoes and rosemary into bottom of pan

2 – Lay the meat on top and season chicken with some salt and pepper. Add the broth (or water and bouillon cube) and drizzle with the oil and place in oven. Time for 25 minutes. Take out of oven and turn the sausages and return to oven for another 20 or so minutes.

Place meat on top

3 – While dinner is in the oven, place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Put lid on pit and bring to a boil. Gently boil until cooked all the way through (about 20 or so minutes). Drain, cover top with tea towel and set aside until meat is cooked.

Gorgeous potatoes from the local Good Work Farm

4 – When dish comes out of the oven, toss in the potatoes, and let everything sit for 5 minutes before serving.

tons of flavor in this Roasted Sausage and Chicken with Green & Red Tomatoes and fingering Potatoes

I served this on a bed of finely chopped romaine lettuce, but you could easily saute some spinach, or eat this with any green you like (peas, broccoli, green beans etc)