Monday, January 20, 2014

BAKED CHICKEN THIGHS - Mustard Slathered, Cajun Spiced, MOIST and CRISPY - 52 Simple but Next Level Dishes

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I just love this series of simple dishes, very little effort, almost no cooking skills required and yet AMAZING RESULTS.

Baked Chicken is one of those recipes filled with dangers... Words leak out of recipes like brining, marinating and even injecting.  And all that happens before you get to the ingredient list.  This recipe calls for a technique (but a simple one) and only 3 ingredients (including the chicken).  The final product is moist and tender, because of the cooking technique, it is almost impossible to over-cook and dry out the meat.  At the same time, you will get a crunchy crispy crusty coating on the top of the chicken.  Not as crispy as the Colonel's Fried, but much more crispy than most baked chicken recipes.
I do have a tip for baking Chicken Thighs, guarantees tender, moist and deliciously flavorful every time... Take a Muffin tin (the large muffin variety), and float a thigh over each hole. This way, the juices from the chicken and the dripping sauce will pool under each piece. Then the sauce begins to heat and bubble and steam the chicken from underneath as the heat cooks the chicken. take a close look at the photo to the left... My wife suggested I line the muffin tin with aluminum foil for easy clean up.  But it's that steaming from below that guarantees that moist tender inside (while always being fully cooked), while the dry heat from the oven will crisp up that coated slathered seasoned spiced skin on top...

So, Slather, Sprinkle, Arrange, Bake and Serve!

Sure, the technique is simple... The seasonings are few and easy to apply... But the taste will indeed send this plate to the next level!  Pair up with an equally easy to make Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter Sage Sauce with Walnuts and you have gourmet... Simple!

OK... Here's what I did...

BAKED CHICKEN THIGHS - Mustard Slathered, Cajun Spiced

  • 4-6 Average sized Chicken Thighs
  • 1 TBS per piece of chicken Whole Grain Spicy Mustard
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp (to taste) per piece of chicken Cajun Spice Mix
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (multitask, same temperature you cook the squash)
  2. (Slather) Rub 1 TBS (Tablespoon) Whole Grain Mustard onto each piece of chicken. try to coat evenly
  3. Sprinkle 1/2 to 1 tsp (teaspoon) of a commercial store bought Cajun Spice Mix on the top of each piece of chicken.
  4. Arrange each thigh, skin side up onto a Muffin tin (the large muffin variety), and float a thigh over each hole. The thigh bone will hold the chicken piece above the bottom of the tins.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, Check the internal temperature of the chicken. MUST be above 160 degrees. If you need to cook longer and the outside is as crispy as you want,cover with more aluminum foil and continue to cook until temp is reached.
  6. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve HOT and ENJOY!


This simple recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Simple but Next Level Dishes"!

Kind of an odd title for these posts. But the longer sentence is... Simple recipes that are easy and inexpensive that will take your cooking to the next level... Things like easy pickled items (I always have a jar of Pickled Red Onions for sandwiches in my fridge). Or how about the easiest bread to make in the world... Beer Bread that is tasty on it's own but also makes a wonderful open face pizza style sandwich... With easy to make Tomato Sauce. Or how about Roasting Garlic for a spread on toast points for a unique appetizer. Infusing Oil with Herbs or spices or spicy peppers. Or how about making your own BBQ sauce. Nothing sets you apart as a grill master like setting out a jar of your own specialty BBQ Sauce.

You get the idea. These recipes are very simple, take very little time but will set you apart as a better cook...


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