Spice up your thighs

Inexpensive and wonderfully flavorful, chicken thighs are a budget-conscious home cook’s best friend—and no one ever said “budget-friendly” has to mean boring. From sweet to spicy, these fun ways to serve chicken thighs are some of the most-loved around the web.

Three Herb Chicken and Mushrooms

Ingredients

8 chicken thighs (about 4 pounds), skin on

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons snipped fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons snipped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces fresh button or cremini mushrooms, halved and/or quartered

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup dry white wine or chicken broth

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

1 tablespoon snipped flat-leaf Italian parsley

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of the rosemary, and 1 tablespoon of the thyme. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or very large oven-going skillet. Add chicken, skin side down, to the hot oil and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until browned on one side. Turn chicken pieces over and place skillet into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until done (at least 170 degrees F).

2. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Add mushrooms to skillet and turn heat to medium-high; cook stirring occasionally for 4 minutes. Add flour to skillet, stirring to coat. Stir in chicken broth, wine, and mustard. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove skillet from heat and add remaining rosemary, thyme, and parsley. Serve mushrooms sauce over chicken.

HOLY YUM CHICKEN

Ingredients

1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thighs (most of the fat cut and discarded)

1/2 cup Dijon mustard (must be Dijon mustard, no substitutes)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup (again, no substitutes. No fake Aunt Jemima stuff)

1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tbsp. cornstarch

2 tsp. fresh rosemary for garnish

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 8×8” oven-proof pan with 2 layers of tin foil.

2. In small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

3. Place the chicken thighs in the foil layered pan then pour the mixture on top of it. Turn the chicken around in the sauce to make sure it gets all coated.

4. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and let chicken sit for 5 minutes then transfer to a plate. Do NOT discard the liquid.

6. Immediately after plating chicken, whisk in the 1 tbsp. of cornstarch into the liquid in the pan. You’ll create a nice, thick sauce to drizzle over your chicken. You need to do cornstarch mixing immediately because the liquid needs to be hot in order for it to thicken properly. If it’s still not thickening after 1 tbsp., you can add a little more.

7. Sprinkle rosemary on top before serving.

8. Serve with rice or potatoes or vegetables.

GARLIC BROWN SUGAR CHICKEN

Ingredients

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste.

3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; set aside.

4. Melt remaining tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Stir in brown sugar, honey, oregano, thyme and basil until well combined. Return chicken to the skillet.

6. Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.

7. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.