Chicken Thighs with Garlic, Thyme and Lemon

So, once upon a time, when I went to buy my weeks supply of chicken breasts at the grocery, I saw a giant package of chicken thighs and thought, “These are so cheap, but what could I do with all thighs?”  Watch the video, find out what I came up with, and then continue to read below!

As you just saw, it’s pretty simple!  I’ve made it for a party of 9, and I’ve also only made 2 for myself.  It’s a good thing to learn how to season and prepare meat.  That goes for any type of meat! It’s a good skill to have and the sooner you learn it, the sooner your food will taste even more delicious!

I got the idea from my grandma, who has a vague memory of a recipe from her mother of how to make lemon chicken thighs.  The skin is always so crispy and the meat is so tender, but every time she makes it, she complains, “It doesn’t taste like my mothers.”  I’m serious people.  The most important piece of information you can take away from this blog post is, write down recipes from your elders.  Especially recipes that they know from their elders!  Even videotape it for prosperity!  I promise one day you’ll be so thankful you did.

Ingredients:

6 Chicken Thighs (make 1-2 per person)

1 lemon, or 3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Head of garlic

Olive Oil

Salt/Pepper

Thyme Seasoning (about 2 tablespoons)

3 Carrots

6 Tomatoes

1 lb. Pasta (if making a different side dish, go for it!!)

Directions:

1. Set oven to 400 degrees.

2. Cut up your tomatoes and carrots. Cut the carrots lengthwise, and then in thirds.  Or, you can buy baby carrots and save the step of cutting them up.  The tomatoes, you can cut in quarters.  Lay them on one half of your baking tray.  Or, if you want to make more of the vegetable, you can use any veggie you want, cut them up and put them in a separate tray.  Fill the entire tray!  You can use eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, carrots…whatever you can think of to make an awesome tray of roasted veggies!!

3. We need to take the moisture out of the skin on the chicken by patting each thigh with paper towels. By doing this, the skin will be crispier. No need to rinse off the chicken. It is a common old practice that began because people believed it was a way to wash off bacteria. However, the USDA has stated that when you cook your chicken, all of the bacteria will die off.  So, you can save yourself the time of washing off chicken.  It will also save your sink, faucet and countertops from being splashed with bacteria! (Here’s the link to the info I found on the United States Department of Agriculture’s website, http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/2ceaa425-0488-4e86-a397-e2d9c470fc4a/Washing_Food.pdf?MOD=AJPERES)

4. Now, we season the chicken. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on the thighs.  Adjust accordingly if you’re making more! Drizzle a tablespoon of lemon. Add about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Use your fingers to rub the seasoning into the chicken. Cover your chicken with the thyme, about one tablespoon, but feel free to use more! Gently press the thyme into the skin with your fingers.

5. Season your veggies.  Use the same seasonings.. the thyme, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Make a light coating.

6.  Time to get cookin’!  (Haha, see what I did there?)  Put up your pasta pot if you’re making the pasta as a side. Take out the biggest frying pan you own. Put a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Mince or crush 1 clove of garlic per chicken breast you’re cooking.  Cook the garlic for a minute.  Add a teaspoon or 2 of lemon juice.

7. Be cautious when you put the chicken in the hot oil.  To be safe, I always put my flame on low when I put anything into a hot pan that has oil in it.  It really doesn’t feel good when the tiniest little drops of oil splash out onto your arms!!  Place the chicken on the pan, seasoning side down.  Once they are all in, put your flame back up to medium.  Season the naked side.  Cook until slightly brown, about 3 minutes, then turn over.  Cook another 3 minutes.

8. When your pot is boiling, you can put your pasta in.  No need to worry about timing it just right with the chicken.  We need to cook it and then when the chicken is almost ready, we will prepare it. Whenever it’s done cooking, drain and put it back in the pot you cooked it in. Drizzle with olive oil so it doesn’t stick.  Or, if you prefer, you can use butter.

9.  Place your chicken on your baking tray.  Spoon the juices out of the pan and pour some over the chicken and some over the veggies.  (Don’t wash this pan yet!) Place in the oven for about 25 minutes.  If you have a thermometer, they are done when they are between 165-180°.  Or, you can stick a fork in them and if the juices run out clear, they are ready!

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10.  When the chicken has 5 minutes left to cook, use the frying pan you cooked the chicken in and add another tablespoon of olive oil.  Crush more cloves (about 3) of garlic and cook until slightly brown. Add seasoning. The first time I made this, I had fresh basil in the house and it was absolutely delicious.  If you don’t have any, you can use the thyme again, it will still taste great! Add your pasta and mix it around with the oil.  Then, leave it on medium heat and let the pasta fry up.  It turns into crispy pasta, and honestly, it’s SO addicting.  If I ever have leftover pasta, I usually head it up by throwing it in a pan and doing this trick!  Love it.

11.  When your tray comes out of the oven, you can put pasta on the plates and put the roasted tomatoes on top (which is why the basil tastes amazing… oil, pasta, basil and tomatoes, yum) with your chicken and carrots on the side.  Add grated cheese!!

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I loved this enough to make a video out of it.  I’m sure you’ll love it too!  It’s always good to mix it up to excite your taste buds!  I definitely think they get bored sometimes. Ever notice that something you made the same way you always do doesn’t taste as good?  I’m convinced… it’s because your taste buds are bored 🙂

Enjoy! Have a great week!

Chef Stef

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One thought on “Chicken Thighs with Garlic, Thyme and Lemon

  1. Pingback: Chicken Thighs with Thyme, Lemon & Garlic: Classy Cookin’ with Chef Stef | EPIC Chicken Recipes - All about Chicken recipes and more!

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