By Lisa Golden Schroeder
I know there are just so many parts to a chicken, but the versatility and allure of each and every part never fails to make me happy. I’ve made no secret of the fact that my true personal taste allegiance goes to chicken dark meat—nothing personal against white meat (who can argue with a tender slice of roasted chicken breast?) But I have to say I’m so happy to welcome the newest family member to Just BARE, meaty bone-in thighs. So rich in flavor, especially when cooked on the bone, humble chicken thighs deserve a status promotion in the chicken world. While boneless thighs are endlessly flexible in recipes, subbing in for boneless breasts or tenders, bone-in thighs call out to be center stage. So today I celebrate another great choice for supper, a cut that can stand up to slow or fast cooking, skin on or skin off, enjoyed with a fork and knife or with your fingers—no matter the method, always moist and juicy. Even with a deeper flavor profile, thighs are still an inviting canvas for assertive sauces, like the following doctored up garlicky barbecue sauce. While I love to roast whole heads of garlic to mash up into a luscious spread for warm bread or as a base for sweetly pungent salad vinaigrettes, it’s easy to find already roasted garlic paste in a jar. So if time is short or the day is hot—no harm, no foul if you fall back on more convenience (since I’m already speed scratching by using one of my favorite bottled sauces). The key is getting that punch of garlic and the fresh zestiness of lemon peel into the sauce. And really slathering up those chicken thighs so they’re dripping with goodness. It’s time to invite those bone-in beauties to your next backyard cookout!
|GRILLED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH ROASTED GARLIC LEMON BARBECUE SAUCE & SUMMER SALAD||
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-1/2 cups barbecue sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 4 (20 ounces) Just BARE® Bone-In Chicken Thighs
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 cups fresh watercress leaves
- 1-1/2 cups chopped seedless cucumber
- 1 cup yellow or red cherry tomatoes, halved
- ⅓ cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint or thyme
- ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta or goat cheese
- Heat oven to 400˚F. Slice the top off of garlic, just exposing the cloves. Place on a 6-inch square of foil; drizzle with olive oil and wrap foil around garlic. Place in oven; roast 30 to 35 minutes or until garlic feels very soft when pressed.
- Squeeze garlic cloves from papery skins; mash with fork in small bowl. Stir in barbecue sauce, lemon juice, and lemon peel until well blended. Set half of sauce aside to brush onto chicken during grilling; save the remainder to serve at the table.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken, skin-side down, on grill. Cover and cook 25 to 30 minutes or until no longer pink near bone (165˚F internally). Begin brushing chicken with sauce about half-way through cooking time, brushing and turning chicken until it gets dark and crispy.
- Meanwhile toss watercress, cucumber, tomato, onion, and mint together in medium bowl. Drizzle with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with grilled chicken, with additional barbecue sauce alongside.