The large packages of boneless and skinless chicken thighs sound like a bargain when compared to many other meat prices. These jumbo-sized containers typically display ten drumsticks, which is enough to sit comfortably in one layer in a 9″ x 13″ metal pan.
Yes, there is waste. I can remember my grandmother collecting thigh bones from family dishes and using them to make chicken broth. Not on most home cook’s to-do list, but just saying there’s value in those bare bones if you’re in a wild mood.
Pairing trimmed chicken thighs with blackberries is a hearty match. Mash the berries, then combine with a little brown sugar, minced garlic, and white wine vinegar. It’s a delicious and sour combination that complements succulent poultry.
Blackberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs
fruit: 5 servings of thighs, 10 servings of one thigh
10 chicken thighs, boned in, skinned, trimmed; See the chef’s notes
3 tablespoons dry white wine mixed with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Coarse salt, such as kosher, and pepper to taste
Leaves of 3 sprigs fresh thyme, see cook’s notes
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 tablespoons mashed blackberries, see cook’s notes
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
To serve: 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
Garnish: extra sprigs of fresh thyme and if desired, a few fresh blackberries
Cook notes: Cut off the excess chicken skin that hangs loosely on the side. I use clean scissors for this; It is much easier than cutting with a knife. Pull the leaves from the stems and discard the stems. puree fresh or frozen blackberries in a food processor; You will need about 4 to 5 ounces of blackberries.
1. Set the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken thighs, skin-side up, in a large flame-retardant saucepan. Combine wine with balsamic and pour over chicken. Spread it on thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Roast 35 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, blackberry paste, garlic, and vinegar in a small bowl or a glass measuring cup with a handle. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the mixture to use after cooking the chicken.
3. Pour the remainder of the brown sugar mixture over the chicken and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until completely cooked through. Remove chicken from roasting tray. Pour the pan juices into a fat separator and set aside for a few minutes – the fat will float to the surface. If you don’t have a fat separator, pour it into a measuring cup with a handle; Let it rest and the fat will float to the surface and get rid of the fat. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil until the orzo has a boil.
4. Pour the lean chicken juices back into the baking tray and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan. cook for 2 minutes to reduce volume; Leave aside from the fire. Cook oregano in boiling water according to package directions. Drain and place on a covered plate. Pour half of the saucepan over the orzo and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken thighs over the sparrow tongue. Pour the rest of the juices over the chicken. Pour a little of the reserved blackberry puree mixture over each chicken thigh. Garnish with sprigs of thyme and some fresh blackberries if desired.
Cooking question? Connect with Cathy Thomas at [email protected] com