I’m not entirely sure why I’ve developed such a taste for chicken thighs lately. Up until a few months ago – maybe close to a year – I had never cooked with them. I usually stuck with chicken breasts, and maybe the occasional wing or drumstick.
But then chicken thighs were on sale at the grocery store one week, and I decided to give them a shot. I liked that they had less meat than a chicken breast, but still enough to satisfy my chicken cravings.
The only problem was, I didn’t know how to cook them as well as I knew how to cook chicken breasts. So I’ve spent a fair bit of time looking up different recipes, getting a better idea of how best to bring out the taste of the meat while keeping the skin somewhat crisp and tasty. And, yes, I’m one of those people who likes the skin on the chicken. Don’t judge me for it – I know it’s not entirely healthy.
Anyway, one day my search led me to Food Network Canada’s Honey Roasted Chicken Thighs with Tomato and White Bean Cassoulet.
I admit, I didn’t have much interest in the cassoulet. But the recipe for the chicken thighs themselves looked pretty good, so I decided to give them a shot one night.
When I started bringing together the ingredients for the chicken coating, I expected it to come out a bit runny. But that’s not how it turned out. The honey in this coating makes it pretty thick, which is both a good thing and a bad thing when it comes to brushing it on the chicken. On the one hand, the coating stays in place fairly well, so you can get a lot of flavour out of it. But, on the other hand, it can be a bit difficult to spread evenly across the chicken.
But, despite the coating’s thickness, I was able to get it to cover the tops of my chicken thighs fairly well. Then I placed the chicken thighs on a grill-covered cookie sheet lined with foil, which I figured would save me some clean-up.
By the time the chicken thighs had finished baking, the sauce had thinned out enough from the heat to cover most of the top of each thigh. This was good – it meant I wouldn’t end up biting into a piece of chicken that didn’t have any flavour on it.
And, I have to say, the flavour of these chicken thighs was great. The honey made them a bit sweet, but cayenne pepper provided a nice little kick to balance that out.
I think I’ll probably use a little less cayenne the next time I make these – it was just slightly too spicy for me – but overall, I would definitely consider this to be a successful, fairly easy to make dish.
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