Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What a Splendid Evening for Thighs!

Ah, so you want to make something with chicken bits, but you don't want to buy and truss a whole chicken? Well neither do I. However, if you don't mind dark meat, this recipe makes great chicken thighs to slice up for leftovers! Not to mention, it's real easy... though it does involve massaging some raw meat.

What you need:
a family pack of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (they usually come with nine, but I've seen twelve before)
3-4 cloves of garlic (or more for roasting)
a bit of olive oil
2 large lemons
three of your favourite herbs (I used rosemary, sage, and thyme)

First, rinse the chicken thighs and pat them dry with a paper towel. Cut off any unwanted fat as well.

Then, chop up your garlic as finely as you can. It's been recommended to me to use a mortar and pestle for this, in order to make some sort of garlic olive oil paste, but I find hand-minced garlic works just fine.

When it's all chopped, gather the garlic into a little pile and pour olive oil into the middle of it. I never measure, I just stop before the olive oil starts to run outside the pile. Sort of like making pasta dough...

I think this was about four or five cloves for nine chicken thighs. I had a bit left over. Next, mix the garlic and oil a little bit with your fingers, and proceed to rub it all over the thighs. Inside and out.

When they're all coated in garlic-oil, stick them in a bowl, cover it lightly (or with a clean dish towel) and let them sit in the fridge for at least two hours. Perfect amount of time to watch a movie and warm your hands up from all that cold chicken.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees whenever you, knowing your oven best, see fit to do so.

When the chicken's just about ready, you'll want to prepare the baking dish. Slice the lemons thinly but evenly, so that you can coat the bottom of a dish, as seen here! Pick the nine heftiest slices (or twelve, depending on how many thighs you have), and put a sprigs of your herbs on each one. If you want to roast some garlic along with this, simply place a full clove with your sprigs.

Place a thigh over each garnished lemon bone-side down, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Stick them in oven until they're golden brown and the juices run clear, about 45 minutes to an hour. Don't worry if the garlic bits burn a bit on top. That'll happen.

Because of the way the store packages herbs this time of year, you'll have a lot left over. Use the sage and thyme for omelettes (I love the look of fried sage leaves; they look like dinosaur skin), and your rosemary for some savoury baking. You'll see what I mean. Ohhhhh yes, you will.


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