Good enough of a supper experiment to get its own post! These chicken thighs and brussels sprouts are delicious and quick. So good that I’ve not had a chance to take photos either time I’ve made the recipe. I’ll update when I can. lol
As usual with my recipes, these are just guidelines. Swap out anything you don’t like and try new ingredients. As Coart says, “Just get good food and get it hot.”
I’ve enjoyed having tube or squeeze bottle paste of garlic and of ginger in my frig. I’ve been adding it to nearly anything – the ginger adds an open fresh flavor, the garlic brings so much yum. It’s faster than mincing fresh on a busy weeknight.
- chicken thighs: 1 or 2 per person (how hungry are ya?). I use skin-on, bone-in thighs because crispy chicken skin is delicious. You do you.
- fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and anything larger than a marble cut in half
- sriracha (this one is fancy or get the basic one at the store)
- honey (not the expensive one)
- garlic paste (I like the ones in a tube, but squeeze bottles are common now in the produce section of stores). If you hate the idea of garlic in a tube, smash some on your cutting board and grind it into a paste. Be fancy, whatever.
- ginger paste (ditto to the squeeze bottle – again, check the refrigerated section of your produce market, near the spices)
- olive oil
- a pinch or two of kosher salt
- dry herbs are nice on this dish. I use California Seasoning from Spice & Tea Exchange. But thyme or oregano would be nice too
- a splash of a good vinegar, like sherry vinegar, rice wine, red wine vinegar, even apple cider vinegar if that’s all you got on hand
- Optional: A couple cloves of garlic. Peel ’em if you want, or don’t.
- if you have it on hand: rendered bacon fat*
*Real talk: If you buy excellent bacon (our favorite is Trader Joe’s applewood smoked bacon), then you should save the rendered fat whenever you cook up a skillet of bacon and have clean fat left over. I use this ceramic strainer & jar to hold mine, and it’s on the counter next to the stove at all times. Bacon fat brings EVERYTHING to the flavor party, and just a teaspoon in the skillet (combined with olive oil or butter if I need more fat in the pan) will be the perfect start to many meals.
Tools: This is best in a cast iron skillet, IMHO, but any roasting setup will do. A rimmed baking sheet (lay down some foil) will work great as well, but you’ll have to start the chicken in a skillet first.
How to prepare
- Prep the chicken — bring it to room temperature (if you have time; don’t worry if you don’t). Pat it dry if you’re feeling extra. If it’s Tuesday and you can’t even, just get it out of the frig and keep rolling…..
- Preheat the oven to 375. Get a burner going under a cast-iron skillet, a little below medium.
- Put some oil in the pan – as I explained above, I go with a tsp of bacon fat & then a bit of olive oil if needed — and gt it hot, then lay in the chicken skin-side down (if there’s skin), or just put it in there if not. Lightly salt the chicken. Leave it till it browns (but don’t let the skin burn.) About 5min, flip the chicken over and brown the other side. You’re not trying to cook it through, just get some good browning going.
- Meanwhile, trim the brussels sprouts and throw them in the pan, round the edges, cut side down, as you go. The early ones will get extra brown and that’s cool.
- Mix up the glaze: I didn’t list measurements because it depends on how hot you want it, how sweet you like it, etc.
Let’s say start with almost equal parts honey & sriracha, then not quite as much (each) of the garlic paste and ginger paste, and a splash of olive oil + a splash of a good vinegar. Stir it up and add a pinch of salt and maybe some fresh cracked pepper.
- Once you’ve flipped over the chicken and the skin is a little browned, you’re ready to glaze the chicken and get it ready for roasting. Here’s what I do: flip the chicken back over onto the non-skin side and spoon some glaze onto that side, smooth it around. Flip chicken over so skin is up, loosen the skin from the meat, and put a big spoon of glaze into that pocket, spread it around. Then top the chicken with a bit of what’s left (you don’t have to use it all, be smart).
(If you must transfer to a different pan for roasting, do that here.)
- Roasting: Stir the brussels sprouts if they’re already starting to stick and lightly salt them, then sprinkle a bit of dry herbs over the skillet. As noted, i use California Seasoning, but oregano would be great, whatever you like. Slide the garlic cloves in amidst the chicken, and put the skillet or pan into the oven to roast.
- Bake for at least 20 minutes, and check to see if the chicken is done. Small thighs will take 20-30min, really big pieces of chicken or a lot of chicken might need up to 40, but overall chicken doesn’t take long so keep an eye on it. You want the juices to run clear; cut into a piece and check. The sprouts likewise should be deep brown and caramelized, and soft.
I like to let the skillet sit out of the oven for about 5min before serving – loosely cover it with foil if you want. A cast iron skillet will keep the brussels sprouts hot. If you’re not using cast iron, maybe skip this.
AND EAT IT — SO GOOD!
- a crunchy salad is always welcome
- sliced fresh tomatoes if they’re truly in season, topped with a wee bit of balsamic vinegar & olive oil
- roast some broccoli along with the brussels sprouts, especially if you’re doing a big sheet-pan dinner here