While I’d love to make whole, roasted chicken often (I love the way the house smells as it’s baking), I usually don’t have time. Instead, I cheat a little (okay, a lot) by using skinned, boneless chicken thighs that are frozen. I always keep a bag of them in my freezer to have flavorful, lean, tender chicken at the ready. This recipe is a great use of them. Because they are small and flat, they cook a lot faster and there’s no carving or carcasses involved!
4-5 Boneless chicken thighs, thawed
3TBS lemon juice
1 TBS butter
6 TBS olive oil + a little to drizzle in the pan
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 smashed garlic cloves (put one aside)
Pinch of salt & pepper
1 tsp. chopped rosemary if desired
1. Drizzle a little olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until the oil starts to shimmer. This is separate from the 6 TBS in the recipe.
2. Very carefully add the chicken (it will splatter so have a splatter-guard ready). Note, patting chicken (or any protein) dry before adding it to hot oil helps cut down on splattering. The wetter it is, the more it will splatter!
3. Brown the chicken on both sides and cook until done.
4. Remove to a plate and turn the heat down to low.
5. Add all of the other ingredients except the 1 clove of garlic and swirl the mixture with the chicken drippings, scraping with a spatula to loosen the yummy bits. By doing this, you are warming the sauce, just slightly cooking the garlic (overly-browned garlic gets bitter) and incorporating the sauce with those delicious flavors from the drippings.
6. Add the last garlic clove and pour all of the sauce into a serving container or just a measuring cup if you plan to do the drizzling over everyone’s meal. The reason I add that last garlic clove at the end is to get the two layers of garlic flavor – slightly cooked and raw.
7. To serve, drizzle the combined sauce over the chicken as well as over other sides such as potatoes, rice, polenta, couscous – whatever you served it with. It’s delicious with starches, veggies and some good, crusty bread to soak up anything left!