Monday, March 10, 2008

Herbed Roasted Chicken Thighs

Ugly to look at...Great to Eat!

This is a great recipe from Cook's Illustrated that is easy and really flavorful. The chicken is smothered with an herbed butter, is placed on a broiler pan and cooked at a high temperature. Some how this method produces moist and tender chicken.

The herbed butter can be made whenever you have left over herbs on hand and frozen for future use. Or you can even make a double or triple batch like I did and freeze the unused portions for other uses.

Because different cuts of chicken cook at different rates, it is recommended that you use one of the following options: Use only one cut of chicken (such as all breasts or all thighs) or be prepared to remove the various different cuts from the oven as soon as they reach their appropriate temperature for doneness. Any strong-flavored fresh herb, such as rosemary, tarragon, or sage, can be substituted for the thyme.

Baked Chicken with Lemon & Herbs
by Cook's Illustrated

4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (whole breasts, split breasts, whole legs, thighs, and/or drumsticks), trimmed (I used thighs)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened, plus 2 tablespoons, melted
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon table salt (I used coarse sea salt)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a broiler-pan bottom with foil and lay the slotted broiler pan on top.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and arrange, skin-side up, on the broiler-pan top. Mix the softened butter, thyme, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture underneath the skin of the chicken. Brush the chicken with the melted butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. (I brushed on olive oil instead of the extra butter).

3. Roast until the breasts register 160 degrees or the legs, thighs, or drumsticks register 175 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 50 minutes. (Mine were cooked in 24 minutes). Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

P.S. Happy Saint Patty's Day!


The Cookbook Junkie said...

Yum! I thought for sure this was going to be a Giada recipe since I caught her making chicken thighs this weekend.

Anonymous said...

mmm...if it's made with herb butter, it can't be bad. i'd moisturize my skin with herb butter if i didn't think the smell would irritate fellow subway riders.

Jen said...


Emily said...

I never eat chicken thighs, but I don't know why. I'm sure they're very flavorful. I prefer chicken on the bone, you know? Sometimes the boneless skinless breasts seem rubbery (still eat them anyway).
This sounds like an interesting way to cook chicken.

Emma said...

I too, never cook with chicken thighs but this recipe just might inspire me.

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