I love this recipe. It was so good, I almost posted it last night right after dinner.
A version of this recipe popped up on Pinterest yesterday and miraculously I happened to have all of the ingredients in my kitchen. I am a terrible meal planner unless it is a party or big event, so if I can make a real recipe without going to the grocery store, I consider it a minor victory.
After a little searching, it turns out that this is a recipe from the The I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook but as you can see in the photo below, it uses regular ingredients that you can find in any store. Of course I fiddled around with it a bit…including changing the name from Holy Yum Chicken (oh, please) but the basic idea is the same…chicken, dijon mustard, bake in a pan.
This is quick, easy, pretty healthy, and the sauce….oh my gosh…the sauce is nothing short of amazing.
Here’s what you need:
Chicken Thighs*, Dijon Mustard, Maple Syrup, White Wine Vinegar, Corn Starch, Rosemary, Salt & Pepper.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
*I’m using 8 bone-in chicken thighs that I bought at the store and removed the skin at home. The original recipe calls for skinless, boneless thighs which I happen to think are one of the dumber things you can buy. Chicken thighs are not only one of the tastiest parts of the chicken, they are also one of the cheapest. With the bone – which makes the chicken taste AND cook better/juicier, they are about $1.20 a pound. They are very easy to skin with a sharp knife or even just using your fingers. Deboned and skinned at the store bumps them up to over $4 a pound. Ridiculous!
So, moral of the story…buy them with skin and bones and remove the skin at home. Trim away any big pieces of fat while you’re at it.
And YES, for this recipe you DO need to remove the skin. Otherwise it would be very greasy and ruin the awesome sauce.
Speaking of the sauce, in a medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup of dijon mustard, 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not the fake stuff), and 3 Tablespoons of white wine vinegar.
Whisk it to combine and you’re done.
Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and lay the chicken thighs in the pan with the good, smooth side up. Season the chicken with salt & pepper and pour the sauce over the top.
Use tongs to turn each piece of chicken a couple of times so that it is well coated on all sides with the sauce. This also gives you a chance to put pepper on the bottom side of the chicken. Just be sure that when you are done turning and coating, the smooth side is once again facing up.
I love rosemary with baked chicken and I happen to have a huge rosemary plant so I tossed a couple of big sprigs right in the pan. You’ll also need 2 more rosemary sprigs for the garnish at the end. Strip the leaves off the extra sprigs, give them a fine chop, and set aside until the chicken is done.
Bake the chicken, uncovered, at 450 degrees for 45 minutes. About halfway through the cooking time, turn the chicken in the sauce again but be sure to keep the same good side up so it will continue to brown.
After 45 minutes, the chicken will be tender and cooked through. If you are in doubt, use an instant read meat thermometer to double check. Your chicken is good to go at 165 degrees.
Remove the golden, juicy chicken thighs to a platter and immediately sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cornstarch in the pan of sauce. Use a whisk to remove any lumps and thicken the sauce. It is important to do this right away as the cornstarch only works when the sauce is almost boiling.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with the finely chopped fresh rosemary.
Technically, 8 thighs should serve 4 people. I served this with some sautéed green beans and glazed carrots. I’m not saying how many chicken thighs were eaten by only 2 people…
I’m always happy to find good, easy chicken recipes and this one is a definite winner. Make this SOON!
Here’s the recipe – Adapted from The I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook
Note: I made a typo in the original printed recipe. This serves 4 people but can easily be doubled.