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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Garlic & Rosemary

It has been a quest of mine over the last few years to find a way to infuse flavor into dark meat chicken.  Yes, the white meat of the chicken breast is healthier and it works great for some recipes, but dark meat is just so full of flavor and yummy.  The problem is getting seasonings to adhere to the meat and absorb into the meat can be difficult.  Today I found a solution and it was so easy, I can't wait to make these again soon.  This is also a very budget-friendly meal.  Getting the thighs on sale for .99 cents made it a great bargain.

I started by mixing up some basic seasonings and ended up with a mixture very similar to the herb and spice mixture I use for bread dip.  I simply adjusted the shallot and garlic up a bit and continued with the same dry herbs. 

The next step was how to keep the mixture on the chicken, but I wanted some of the fat to cook off, too.  To do this I trimmed almost all of the skin and fat from the thighs, leaving a portion of skin on just the top of the thigh.  I loosened the skin and placed about 3/4 teaspoon of the oil, shallot and garlic mixture under the chicken skin, smoothed it around a bit, and replacing the skin on top.  By doing this it kept the herb mixture in place, the skin helped keep the moisture in the chicken and the excess fat cooked off into the crinkled foil below.  This way we ended up with a chicken thigh that was full of flavor, a little crispy on top and not cooking in the fat drippings. Yes!  Be sure to crinkle the foil before you begin to bake these so the chicken is a bit elevated off of the baking sheet.  We finished this dish off with a sprinkle of chopped fresh rosemary over the thighs before baking.

We served these juicy chicken thighs with Roasted Red Potatoes with fresh rosemary from our garden and a spoon of creamed spinach.  Overall this dish received 5 thumbs up and requests to make it again.  Enjoy!!
1  Large Shallot, finely minced
1-1/2 TB  Minced Fresh Garlic
1/4 tsp  Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 tsp  Chopped Fresh Rosemary
1 tsp  Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp  Black Pepper
1/2 tsp  Salt
1/2 tsp  Oregano
3 TB  Olive Oil
10  Bone-In Skin-On Chicken Thighs, trimmed of excess skin
1 tsp  Chopped Fresh Rosemary for Garnish

Preheat oven to 425.  Line a large baking sheet with heavy duty foil that has been well crinkled so that there are little ridges for the drippings to fall into.

To prepare the chicken, use kitchen shears to trim away the excess skin on the sides of the thigh, leaving just a square of skin about 2 to 2-1/2 inches square on top.  Place the thighs on the baking sheet and set aside.

In a glass bowl, mix the herbs, spices and olive oil together.  Scoop about 3/4 teaspoon of the garlic and shallot mixture, draining some of the oil off the spoon and back into the bowl, and place the garlic/shallots under the skin of each chicken thigh . Spread the herbs around but try to keep the garlic and shallot bits under the skin.  Do this with each of the thighs then brush the remained oil from the bowl over the tops of the thighs.  This way you have the bulk of the garlic and shallot under the skin, and the seasoned oil on top of the skin.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of rosemary over thighs.

Bake at 425 for about 35 minutes or until the juices run clear and the skin is crispy.

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