Special technique yields flavourful results!
It’s highly unusual for me to resort to prepared sauces in my cooking, but when a friend asked me to come up with a foolproof recipe she could teach her teens, I thought a little shortcut might be in order. This chicken turned out so well it has gone into regular rotation and I’ve even served it at a couple of dinner parties. You can streamline making this dish by simply putting the raw chicken in the baking dish and pouring the sauce over top, then adding the chopped vegetables and baking, covered, for 50 minutes at 350F before thickening the sauce at the end, per the method below. It will be very tasty. However, if you want to elevate it to the level of extremely tasty, follow the detailed instructions I’ve given here. It takes a few extra minutes but it’s well worth your time as the chicken will be noticeably more tender and flavourful, with deliciously crispy skin. If you’re a fan of oven-baked chicken thighs, you might also like this version. And if you’re looking for a wine pairing for this dish, I highly recommend a full-bodied chardonnay such as le FAT bastard from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France.
- 2 pounds (900 g) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (4-8 depending upon size)
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon (7.8 g) flour
- 1 tablespoon (9.4 g) cornstarch
- Few pinches each salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive or vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup (250 mL) lemon-garlic marinade or other vinaigrette-style salad dressing
- 2/3 cup (35 g) chopped sweet onion
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups (142 g) small broccoli florets (or other green vegetable, chopped)
- 2-4 tablespoons (30 – 60 mL) white wine or water
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (4.7 g) cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 300F. Place chicken in casserole dish just large enough to hold chicken tightly, but in a single layer. Cover casserole dish with a lid or foil and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- While chicken is baking, in a small bowl mix together the melted butter, flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Take chicken from oven after 25 minutes and increase heat to 350F.
- In a large frying pan heat the oil over medium-high heat. While oil heats, spread the butter-flour-cornstarch mixture on the skin sides of the chicken pieces, working with them just a few at a time. Once the oil in the frying pan is hot, add four or five of the chicken breasts (you don’t want to crowd them) to the pan, coated skin side down, and cook for 5 – 7 minutes until skin is golden brown and crispy.
- Transfer the crispy chicken back to the baking pan and repeat (if necessary) with the remaining pieces of chicken.
- Once all the chicken has been fried, drizzle the lemon-garlic sauce around the chicken pieces in the baking dish and then sprinkle the onion pieces and tomatoes over top. Use your fingers or a fork to tuck the onions, tomatoes and broccoli down into the liquid. Add just enough white wine or water to bring the liquid level to three-quarters of the way up the sides of the chicken pieces.
- Put the chicken back in the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked to 165F and liquid is bubbling.
- Just before serving, combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Drizzle into liquid in baking pan and stir to combine. Bake 5 minutes more so sauce with thicken.
- Serve chicken over rice, quinoa or mashed potatoes, generously spooning sauce over top.
Serves 4; recipe can easily be multiplied.