Roasted Chicken Thighs With An Easy Salsa Verde Recipe

roasted sage chicken with salsa verdeIt’s early in the New Year as I write this, too early to have given up on my resolutions, one of which was to try at least two new recipes each month.

Any maybe even write about them if they are deemed worthy by my family.  My first try seems to have qualified, so here we go…

Food For Thought

As my food philosophy continues to evolve, I find that I would like to do more with less.  I certainly enjoy high end steaks and roasts as much, or more, than the next guy.  But to satisfy my desire to use more of each animal we eat, I have been looking for recipes that utilize some of the less desirable, less popular and less expensive cuts, such as this recipe with bone-in skin-on chicken thighs.

I’ve cooked chicken thighs many times before, so chicken alone isn’t enough to count towards my resolution of trying new dishes.  So the preparation of the chicken must depart from past efforts, which really shouldn’t be too difficult as my cooking tends to be pretty straight forward.

And then in the mail, as luck would have it, I was able to follow along with a recent recipe from Food And Wine, with only a few changes.  Turns out this was just what we were looking for, this recipe steps up chicken preparation from my normal routine, with the added benefit of a sauce to be served with the chicken, in this case a simple salsa verde.

This recipe also has the added benefit of being made up entirely of whole foods, no need to worry about substituting foods in and out, simply finding the best quality ingredients I can afford or want to spend the time looking for.  Since I do the majority of my grocery shopping at Whole Foods, when I buy chicken parts I usually opt for the highest score they have available with their Animal Welfare Standards.

In this case, I went with a #2 pack of chicken thighs, which means they were still likely grown indoors, but with more space and freedom than battery cage CAFO chickens, and without the use of added hormones and antibiotics.  I would prefer to find chicken rated 4 or higher, but that is difficult to find, especially when looking just for parts and not whole chickens.

Everything else on the list of ingredients should be pretty easy to source, and also easy to see the nutritional benefit of consuming.  With all the spices included, and with as much as I like to eat, maybe I’ll even count my salsa verde as one of my vegetable or fruit servings for the day!

By my way of cooking and eating, there simply isn’t too much to worry about when the bulk of your ingredients are made up of fresh spices, butter, garlic and some olive oil.

Ingredients

Chicken
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
16 sage leaves
16 slices of garlic
4 tablespoons butter, cut into 8 thin tabs

Marinade For Chicken
4 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoons dried thyme
1-2 teaspoons dried basil
1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
10 cloves pressed garlic

Easy Salsa Verde Recipe
zest from one lemon
juice from one lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
2 cloves pressed garlic
1-2 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

It’s best for me to visualize this dish in three or four distinct steps, so that’s how I outlined it below, hope that doesn’t mess you up too badly…

Chicken Thighs

  1. unwrap your chicken thighs, and prep your sage, garlic slices and butter tabs
  2. using your fingers, gently make pockets between the skin and meat of the chicken
  3. place 2 sage leaves, two garlic slices and one tab of butter under the skin of each chicken thigh, and place into a dish with high sides that can hold a marinade

 Marinade

  1. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients listed above for the marinade, and stir to thoroughly combine
  2. Pour the marinade over the chicken and let sit in your refrigerator for at least a few hours, but most of the day would be even better

Easy Salsa Verde Recipe

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the ingredients listed above for the salsa verde, and blend or chop until your spices reach the desired consistency
  2. Set aside to serve later with the cooked chicken

Cooking The Chicken

  1.  About 30 minutes before you want to start cooking, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and remove the chicken from the refrigerator
  2. On the stovetop, heat an oven proof pan on medium for about 5 minutes
  3. Add a tablespoon of fat for cooking, such as ghee or lard, to the pan and let it melt
  4. Add the chicken skin side down and leave alone for 10-15 minutes, when the skin should be nice and golden brown
  5. Turn the chicken thighs over in the pan, and place the entire pan into the preheated oven for another 30 minutes
  6. Remove chicken from the pan, serve warm with the salsa verde that you already prepared
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