Friday, September 30, 2011

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs and Veggies

Yes, another chicken recipe, but this time using most flavorful part of chicken, the thighs. They take much, much longer to cook then a breast but they are also so much more flavorful.

With the exception of mushrooms and chicken, of course J, all other ingredients that formed the sauce were from my garden: onion, eggplant, red and green peppers, tomatoes and garlic. Prep time is reasonable 20 minutes or so of chopping and slicing. As is the case with all of my recipes amounts given are for 2 people plus good leftovers for next day lunch. I served it with orzo (rice shaped dry pasta) but it can be served with any other dry or even fresh pasta, boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes or rice.


4 chicken thighs (bone in and skin on)
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. butter
1/2 medium onion
1 Oriental eggplant or 1/2 regular eggplant
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 Roma tomatoes
1 cup sliced cremini or white mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. butter
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. dried basil or 2 tsp. fresh chopped basil

 Preheat oven to 350 °F and place rack in middle.
Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of chicken thighs and set aside.
Slice or chop onions, eggplant, tomatoes and peppers.
In oven-proof skillet (avoid non-stick pans) heat oil and add butter. When the foam subsides place thighs skin side down and cook until skin starts to brown little bit. Turn the chicken thighs over and cook another 3 minutes. Remove to plate and cover with foil.

In the same skillet, drop in onions and cook until they start to caramelize, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.
Add eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, garlic and mushrooms and stir to mix all vegetables.
Return the chicken thighs with accumulated juices back into skillet, cover and place in the oven. Check every 15 minutes if there is any juice left. If it looks too dry add white wine or chicken stock.

Meanwhile, cook your side (pasta, rice or potatoes).

After 30 minutes remove the cover from skillet and raise the oven temperature to 400 °F. Add the basil and cook for 10 more minutes or until the chicken skin is gold and crisp.

Serve immediately.

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