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5 Amazing Baked Chicken Thigh Recipes Your Family Will Love

Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes one ingredient at a time.

One-pan tomato basil chicken and rice

One-pan tomato basil chicken and rice

Cooking Chicken Thighs

Moist and succulent chicken thighs paired with rice and and savory tomatoes make a great platform. We're at the starting gate. Let's see how we can modify the ingredients to give this some different "spins."

Recipe 1. Tex-Mex Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • 2 cups salsa (mild or medium, depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • sour cream and guacamole to garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°c | 400°F. Heat the oil in a large, deep ovenproof cast iron skillet/or pan (over 30 cm or 12-inches). Add the chicken, skin side down; sear for 3-4 mins on medium-high heat. Turn each thigh and sear until golden all over. Transfer the chicken to a warm plate. Remove the chicken skin.
  2. Add the garlic; fry until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the onion; fry for about 3 minutes or until onion is transparent. Stir in the rice, salsa, and chicken broth. Season with salt. Bring to a simmer and allow the rice to soak up all the tomato flavors.
  3. Place chicken thighs, skin side up, over rice. Bring to a boil; rotate the chicken in the salsa sauce to coat; cover with foil; transfer to preheated oven and allow to bake for about 40 minutes, or until the rice has softened and absorbed the liquid and the chicken is cooked through. Stir through an extra 1/4 cup of water to the rice only if needed (if rice hasn't cooked fully).
  4. Garnish with cilantro and sour cream and guacamole if desired.
 Asian-inspired chicken thighs

Asian-inspired chicken thighs

Recipe 2. Asian-Inspired Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and then diced
  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°c | 400°F. Heat the oil in a large, deep ovenproof cast iron skillet/or pan (over 30 cm or 12-inches). Add the chicken, skin side down; sear for 3-4 mins on medium-high heat. Turn each thigh and sear until golden all over. Transfer the chicken to a warm plate.
  2. Add the garlic; fry until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the onion and red peppers; fry for about 3 minutes or until onion is transparent. Stir in the rice, soy sauce, hoisin, and chicken broth. Season with Chinese 5 spice powder. Bring to a simmer and allow the rice to soak up all the savory flavors.
  3. Place chicken thighs over rice. Bring to a boil; rotate the chicken in the sauce to coat; cover with foil; transfer to preheated oven and allow to bake for about 40 minutes, or until the rice has softened and absorbed the liquid and the chicken is cooked through. Stir through an extra 1/4 cup of water to the rice only if needed (if rice hasn't cooked fully).
  4. Garnish with cilantro and slivered almonds if desired.

Recipe 3. Moroccan Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup diced Kalamata olives
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°c | 400°F. Heat the oil in a large, deep ovenproof cast iron skillet/or pan (over 30 cm or 12-inches). Add the chicken, skin side down; sear for 3-4 mins on medium-high heat. Turn each thigh and sear until golden all over. Transfer the chicken to a warm plate.
  2. Add the garlic; fry until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the onion; fry for about 3 minutes or until onion is transparent. Stir in the rice, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and kalamata olives. Season with cinnamon, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Bring to a simmer and allow the rice to soak up all the spicy-tomato flavors.
  3. Place chicken thighs, skin side up, over rice. Bring to a boil; rotate the chicken in the sauce to coat; cover with foil; transfer to preheated oven and allow to bake for about 40 minutes, or until the rice has softened and absorbed the liquid and the chicken is cooked through. Stir through an extra 1/4 cup of water to the rice only if needed (if rice hasn't cooked fully).
  4. Garnish with mint leaves.

Recipe 4. French-Inspired Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large leek, white part only, sliced, about 1 cup (see video below about cleaning)
  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°c | 400°F. Heat the oil in a large, deep ovenproof cast iron skillet/or pan (over 30 cm or 12-inches). Add the chicken, skin side down; sear for 3-4 mins on medium-high heat. Turn each thigh and sear until golden all over. Transfer the chicken to a warm plate. (At this point I remove the chicken skin. See my comment below).
  2. Add the garlic; fry until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the leek; fry for about 3 minutes or until leek is softened. Stir in the rice and wine. Cook until wine is almost completely evaporated.
  3. Stir in chicken broth. Season with salt, pepper, and dried Herbs de Provence. Bring to a simmer and allow the rice to soak up all the herbal flavors.
  4. Place chicken thighs, meaty side down, over rice. Bring to a boil; rotate the chicken in the sauce to coat; cover with foil; transfer to preheated oven and allow to bake for about 40 minutes or until the rice has softened and absorbed the liquid and the chicken is cooked through. Stir through an extra 1/4 cup of water to the rice only if needed (if rice hasn't cooked fully).
  5. Garnish with fresh tarragon leaves.

* Herbes de Provence is a Provençal mixture of marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and lavender

Recipe 5. Tomato Basil Chicken and Rice

I discovered this tomato basil chicken and rice recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and now my family asks for it every week. This dish features fantastic flavors and balance of textures, and it is a complete dinner in one pot. What more could you want?

Note: The original recipe by CafeDelites suggests that one remove the cover, change oven settings to broil, and then grill for a further 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is crispy and golden. Mine was perfectly cooked, even the first time with the skin left on, so I skipped this step.

My personal feeling is that this dish, cooked with skin on, becomes a bit greasy. I prefer to remove the skin after step 1. The thigh meat still remains moist and tender (in my humble opinion).

I would suggest that you try the original recipe once, and then, the second time you cook this, consider whether or not you want to prepare it with the skin off or on.

Whatever way you choose, I am confident that you will want to cook this dish again and again.

© 2018 Linda Lum