I’m back!! The holiday break was so good for my family and my soul. I trust that you all had a wonderful holiday season too! It always surprises me how good a break is for getting my creative wheels turning again. I found myself back in the kitchen again over this break and enjoying a slowed down supper or two with my family. I found myself with piles of cookbooks from the library and a new desire to create in my kitchen again.
Our MomAdvice Hangout group has been a really great place to chat with you all about what you are looking for in the upcoming year especially when it comes to food. Two things really stood out to me. 1) You struggle with keeping the grocery budgets down and the eating out to a minimum (ME TOO!) and 2) You are hoping to be inspired to get in the kitchen with a better plan in place (ME TOO!)
With that in mind, today’s meal is for a lemon paprika chicken that our whole family absolutely loved thanks to its light and lively lemon sauce that will be making its way into our weekly rotation.
The reason I really loved it though was that ALDI had marked down their meat that day and I was able to purchase eight chicken thighs for about $4.19. That was enough to feed my family of 4 and have a couple of lunches for another day in our refrigerator. With the accompaniment of a simple potato side (coming soon!), we had the makings for a truly affordable meal.
I have always thought chicken breasts were best, but the chicken thigh meat has become our new family favorite after finally mastering the technique of getting a perfect thigh thanks to the inspiration from Damn Delicious in her Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken. Why is meat we haven’t worked with before so intimidating? With all the tools I have at my fingertips, I can admit that I was scared of chicken thighs until I tried her roasting technique and now we eat chicken thighs weekly.
Her technique of browning the meat in butter yields a crispy skin and then throwing it in the oven to roast creates a chicken that is bursting with flavor. While the chicken roasts, I typically add a rotation of other roasted veggies on a cookie sheet or add a quick steam bag of baby peas and a jar of applesauce for times when the cupboard is more lean. These have become my go-to when entertaining and are always a hit with dinner guests.
If you haven’t given the chicken thigh a chance before, you are missing out on the big M word (I will not say it, I won’t…you know that word.). White meat can be very dry and lacking in flavor, this is the opposite of that and I will let you think on that word that I am referencing now.
Once you master that technique the possibilities with a pan sauce are endless and I have made these so often now that it takes me just a few minutes to pull everything together and I have the kitchen cleaned by the time the chicken is done roasting. A one pan dish that is affordable and yields great leftovers? Sign me up!
My husband hates a heavy-handed lemon taste, but agreed that this was just the right amount of citrus in this recipe. The lemon not only adds depth to the flavoring, but it helps to tenderize the meat. The smoky paprika adds an additional layer of flavoring that perfectly compliments this sauce. I love that these humble ingredients can bring such a complex and balanced flavor to the chicken. Humble, affordable, and impressive…that’s a winner in our book.
I hope this dish inspires you to give that chicken thigh a try because it will save you a lot of money if you have been buying chicken breasts and I often find these marked down at our store. Bone-in is my personal preference for the word that shall not be said.
These reheat beautifully too so be sure to pack a few away in microwavable containers to keep the cost of lunches down!
- 6-8 bone-in chicken thighs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Zest & juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl mix together olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, and two minced garlic cloves.
- In a resealable bag, pour these ingredients into the bag with the chicken thighs, rubbing the mixture evenly over all the chicken. Refrigerate for two hours.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet.
- Add chicken and, cooking over medium heat, brown the chicken on both sides; about 3 minutes per side.
- Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
- Add remaining minced garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for one minute. Do not burn the garlic. Carefully whisk in wine to the skillet and cook for one more minute.
- Transfer chicken back to skillet and roast uncovered in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until done.
- Serve chicken with the wine sauce spooned over it and garnished with additional parsley.
Adapted from Diethood