Win over hearts with crispy chicken thighs
For me, I always buy chicken thighs. No offense to the rest of the bird, but these parts are effortlessly sumptuous. Not only that but thighs (and dark meat in general) are budget-friendly, versatile, culinarily forgiving and beloved by kids. Chicken nuggets are great and all, but crispy chicken thighs are the real choice of the discerning toddler. Needless to say, they are always on my shopping list.
It doesn’t take much to make them delicious. Just sprinkle the top skin with a light dusting of sea salt and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or so. Since the thighs are dark meat, they remain juicy even when slightly overcooked, unlike breasts whose white meat can be quite tricky to deal with as it has a tendency to dry out very easily.
Honestly, we all need recipes for these beauties in our lives. Especially roasted where they seem to shine best.
Stuffed chicken thighs
How does one make this cut of meat more delicious? Stuff it! But not with the usual cheese mixture that smothers the chicken’s natural flavor.
Stuff it with ingredients that highlight the natural unctuousness of this part of the bird. Ergo, use salty bacon and sweet apple. Accompanied with roasted leek and tomato gravy, the whole meal is multi-layered with sweet, salty, aromatic and crisp flavors.
I can’t think of a better recipe to dress up a humble thigh.
Crispy chicken thighs stuffed with apple and bacon then roasted in the oven with a leek, tomato and white wine gravy. Delicious served over mashed potatoes. #chicken #easy #dinner #budgetfriendly #bacon #apple
6 chicken thighs (skin on)
3 strips of bacon (streaky and back bacon work equally well)
1 medium-sized apple (I use Gala apples but you can use whatever you prefer)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large leek (finely chopped)
4 medium red tomatoes (diced)
2–3 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 large sprigs of thyme
4 oz (120ml) of white wine
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200C / 400 F or 180C / 360 with fan.
Prep the chicken thighs by removing the bone if not already boneless. Using your fingers, locate the bone on the underside of the thigh. Using a sharp knife, cut on both sides of the bone. Use long strokes (like you are sketching a picture) until the bone is uncovered. Cut underneath the bone as well as the top and bottom until the bone is fully removed.
Run your hand along the meat to make sure no bone fragments or cartilage remains.
After chicken thighs are deboned, cut the apple into pieces of equal size (or as best you can) and cut the bacon in half if using long strips.
Put chicken thighs skin side down and place half a strip of bacon on it, followed by an apple slice. Lift one side of the thigh and roll over until apple and bacon are completely covered and rolled up tightly.
Repeat until all chicken thighs are rolled up with bacon and apple. Place in a baking pan. Set aside.
In a medium-large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium or medium-high heat. Add chopped leeks and fry for a minute or so until soft then add diced tomatoes, minced garlic, sprigs of thyme and white wine. Turn heat to high and bring to a bubble. Cook for a minute or two then add to roasting pan with uncooked chicken thighs.
Sprinkle generously with sea salt and black pepper then place in oven and cook for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked and skin is crispy.
Serve over pasta, mashed potatoes or rice for a hearty meal.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 45
- Category: Main
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: Western
Keywords: chicken thighs, bacon, crispy chicken, oven, baking, apples, leeks, tomatoes, thyme, garlic, white wine, budget friendly
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