Winner, winner chicken dinner! Chicken is an all-around crowd pleaser. It's healthy, relatively inexpensive and the kids will eat it without complaint. Plus, it's extremely versatile and easy to prepare, making it a perfect main course for busy families. So it goes without saying that mouth-watering chicken thigh recipes are in high demand.
While the boneless, skinless chicken breast has earned a feather in its cap for being the only healthy cut of chicken, it isn't exactly true. The Food Network touts chicken thighs as one of the "10 foods that are healthier than you think," primarily because of its healthy monounsaturated fat content. They have a wealth of healthy chicken thigh recipes that are downright delicious.
In addition to boasting healthy fat content, chicken thigh recipes also lend flavor and moisture to most dishes, something boneless, skinless breast meals lack sometimes. Another reason chicken thighs are poultry in motion? The Chicago Sun-Times food section reports that chicken thighs have twice the zinc and iron than the breast, making them more nutrient-heavy.
Try one of these quick and delicious recipes for chicken thighs for your next lunch or dinner. Add a tossed salad as a side and a serving of fruit for dessert to complete the meal.
Savory Chicken Thighs with Roasted Red Peppers and Brussels Sprouts
Inspired by recipe on RealSimple.com
Savory spices, tangy chicken and lightly salted, roasted veggies make this a healthy, tasty and colorful dinner option. Enjoy this delectable chicken thighs recipe any day of the week.
2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. dry mustard
8 chicken thighs (about 2.5 lbs)
Seasoned salt to taste
2 red bell peppers, julienned
1 onion, cut into thin strips
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. lime juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine 2 Tbsp. olive oil with both the prepared and dry mustard. Loosen the chicken skin and, using a basting brush, spread the mustard mixture between the skin and the meat. Sprinkle the chicken with seasoned salt. Place the thighs in a 9X13 inch baking dish or a roasting pan.
In a separate bowl, toss the red peppers, onions and Brussels sprouts with the thyme, salt, pepper, lime juice and 1 Tbsp. of oil. Spread on a separate baking sheet or dish.
Put both baking dishes in the oven simultaneously, with the chicken on the upper rack. Roast the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, or about half an hour. Halfway through cooking, toss the veggies. Take them out of the oven when they are tender, about 20 minutes.
Italian Rub Chicken Thighs with Grape Tomatoes
Inspired by recipe on StupidEasyPaleo.com
This crispy chicken thighs recipe is highlighted by Italian herbs and sweet, ripe grape tomatoes. Drizzle a little Italian dressing after cooking for extra flavor.
2 lbs. chicken thighs
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 tsp. olive oil
Rub the chicken thighs with seasonings. Let the chicken sit for 30 minutes (optional). Place chicken in a baking dish or roasting pan. Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil and sprinkle over the chicken. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for about 30 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
Cuban Crockpot Chicken Fricassee
Inspired by recipe on AllRecipes.com
This classic fricassee dish has been remade into an easy, throw-it-in-the-crockpot dinner with Cuban flair. A chicken thighs recipe you won't forget.
2 to 3 lbs. chicken thighs
1 onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
½ red or orange bell pepper, chopped
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 14-oz. can stewed tomatoes
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
4 oz. beer
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. sage
1 bay leaf
1 package of Sazón (found in Latin food section of grocery stores) [optional]
½ tsp. pepper
Adobo (found in Latin food section of grocery stores) or salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in the crockpot and mix thoroughly. Cook on medium heat about 6 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve as is or over a bed of yellow Spanish rice.
Greek Creamy Chicken Tossed Salad
Inspired by recipe on Yummly.com
This chicken thighs recipe combines creamy, tangy Greek-inspired chicken and fresh, crunchy veggies for a healthy, balanced meal in minutes.
2 lbs. chicken thighs, roasted and cooled
1 heart of romaine lettuce
1 bag of sweet butter lettuce (or two additional romaine hearts)
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup Kalamata olives
½ purple onion, sliced thinly
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup plus 3 Tbsp. of Greek or Caesar dressing
Discard the chicken skin and pull the chicken off the bone. Cut into strips or bite-size chunks. Toss the chicken with 3 Tbsp. dressing and let sit for 15 minutes. Toss all the remaining ingredients together. Top with the chicken. Serve with a sliced baguette and a glass of Pinot Grigio, if desired.
Creamy Stovetop Mushroom Chicken
Inspired by recipe on RealSimple.com
This quick, one-pot meal is a favorite for mushroom lovers.
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. seasoned salt
6 to 8 chicken thighs, skin removed
2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
8 ounces white button or baby shiitake mushrooms, sliced
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth
1 small can cream of mushroom soup
Combine the flour and seasoned salt and coat the chicken with mixture. In a large skillet, heat the oil and cook the chicken until browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Set the chicken aside.
In the same skillet, add the mushrooms and cook for about another 4 minutes or until the mushrooms have begun to release their moisture. Put the chicken back in the skillet with the mushrooms, add the remaining ingredients and cook on medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Leftover Chicken Pita Pockets
Who doesn't love leftovers? They are quick to prepare and economical and sometimes even tastier than the first time around. Plus, this pita recipe makes a great alternative for a box lunch main course.
Leftovers of any of the above recipes
Whole-wheat pitas, halved
Cut, fresh veggies of choice
Salad dressing of choice, optional
Place ½ cup of leftovers of any of the above chicken recipes (sans bones) in half of pita, along with a handful of veggies of choice. Cucumbers, spinach and avocados are especially good. Sprinkle with a little salad dressing and serve with a side of fresh fruit. Makes a delicious, simple lunch in minutes.