People often overlook how delicious and easy to prepare chicken thighs are. They cook up quickly and are the most delicious piece of chicken. Much better than the breast. And cheaper!
This recipe is three parts: one part chicken thighs, one part couscous and one part salad. It’s pretty, simple, and healthy. I make some variations on chicken thighs about once a week, and they are always a hit.
- 1 Package of chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tb. Olive Oil
Arugula Caprese Salad:
- Tiny Fresh Mozzarella Balls
- Two good sized tomatoes
- Olive Oil
- (Optional) balsamic vinegar
Total Time: 20 Minutes
The first thing I do when I make this meal is to start the quinoa, and start preheating the oven to 425 degrees for the chicken. Grains usually take the longest to cook, so you want to get them on the stove top immediately. My quinoa brand (Trader Joes) takes about 15 minutes to cook. It’s very simple — just follow the directions on the box. You add the quinoa, add the water, stir, bring the mixture to a boil, turn down to simmer, cover, and let sit for about 15 minutes.
Take your chicken out, and give it a rinse. I hate washing my chicken, but you really should. Give it a rinse, and dry it off on paper towels. Make sure you get the bird dry. Seasoning won’t stick to wet chicken. After you have your bird washed and dried, season one side with kosher salt and grind some black pepper on it.
Put a cast iron or other heavy pan (that is oven safe) on the stove, and turn it to high. Once your pan is hot, add 1 Tb. of olive oil and start heating. Let heat for about 1-2 minutes, and add the chicken thighs, seasoned side down. Cook for 4 minutes on high. While the thighs are cooking, season the unseasoned side. After 4 minutes, flip, and cook for 4 more minutes (4 minutes/side)
After 4 minutes of browning the thighs on both sides, transfer to the over. Cook 3 minutes, and flip the thighs:
Throw them back in the oven, and given them 3 more minutes. After that, take the thighs out, and transfer them to a cutting board to cool:
While the thighs are cooling, make the salad. Chop up the tomatoes, and toss with arugula, and some basil (ripped into small pieces), and small balls of mozzarella. You can use any type of mozzarella that you like, but I really like these small fresh balls. They sell them at Whole Foods.
Drizzle the salad with olive oil, and if you care for an acidic bit, a touch of balsamic.
At this point in time, your couscous should be cooked. Prepare you plates with couscous, salad, and chicken thighs. Enjoy!
(This makes a great NHL playoffs meal!)