Winner, Chicken Dinner.

We ate lots of chicken growing up, but Gran Fran got hers from a butcher. A nice, old place, run by a bunch of (as I recall her saying) good looking German men. They'd always give me a mini hot dog while they got our order together.

The quality of the meat Gran Fran bought (and still does) raised all of us with the taste for only the best. She generally stuck to chicken breasts, sometimes legs if there was frying going on, or whole chickens for roasting.

As an adult, therefore, Chicken thighs were a revelation to me. I get the feeling that using Chicken thighs vs some fancier part of the chicken, ranked up there with buying inferior meat products, in Gran Fran's world. Because the flavor and moistness of thighs is sooooo good, I am straying from the Gran Fran and using Chicken thighs a lot.

The recipe featured here only takes about 30 minutes to marinate, saute and then bake, so it's an excellent weeknight meal. I made it for a friend, and served my daughter (remember Ms Iz?) some of the leftovers. Being somewhat cautious about sauces and flavors, I worried Ms Iz would not eat it. But, to my joy, she loved it and has asked me to make it again.

Goes to show, I should probably make the 12 year old eat more sauces....

Chicken Thighs with Oregano, Honey, Mustard and Lemon

  • 8 chicken thighs

  • 2 tbsps Honey

  • 1 tbsp Mustard

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil, plus more for sauteeing

  • Juice of 1 Lemon

  • 2 cloves Garlic, sliced thinly

  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup White Wine or Dry Vermouth

  • In a large non-reactive(!) bowl, place honey, mustard, olive oil, one half of the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. 

  • Stir until all ingredients are mixed well.

  • Add chicken thighs. Using your hands, thoroughly cover the chicken with the marinade.

  • Set aside for five minutes (if you have more time, you can let it sit for as long as you'd like).

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  • Once chicken has marinated for as long as you have, heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat.
  • Add oil when the pan is good and hot.
  • Place chicken thighs skin side down onto pan. Pour remaining marinade over chicken.
  • Do not disturb them for five to eight minutes, until you see the side of the skin curling up a bit.
  • Move thighs to one side of pan, add garlic slices and quickly turn over the thighs to rest on top of the garlic.
  • Squeeze remaining one half lemon juice over top of the chicken.
  • Remove pan from flame.
  • Add white wine or vermouth, trying to pour it underneath the chicken, so as to not soak the skin side.
  • Sprinkle oregano, salt and pepper over the chicken.
  • Place pan in preheated oven and bake for twelve more minutes, until meat is cooked through and juices run clear.