We can thank my mom for this one. She always preferred chicken thighs over breast meat, and I never understood why until recently when I too was converted into a dark meat lover thanks to this exact recipe.
Going through fertility treatments, pregnancy, and now breastfeeding, I’ve been much more conscious of increasing my protein intake and ensuring my meals are as nutrient-dense as possible. And when it comes to chicken — dark meat wins. Not only is it more flavorful + juicy, but it’s also higher in fat, iron, and zinc. Fat keeps us satiated + helps absorb vitamins from food and virtually all pregnant and postpartum women are deficient in iron.
When purchasing chicken, I always go for pasture-raised and/or organic. You are what your food eats! This means I avoid the corn/soy/grains fed to conventional chickens and any antibiotics/hormones that they may have been given as well. Plus, going pasture-raised is better for the environment and is more nutrient-dense thanks to a diet of bugs, grass, and sunshine.
Okay, let’s cook!
I’M CALLING THIS A NON-RECIPE RECIPE — which means it’s a method and you do you in terms of the seasoning.
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE WAYS TO PREPARE THESE CHICKEN THIGHS ARE:
+ za’atar (an herby, sesame Middle Eastern seasoning)
+ smoked paprika, fresh thyme, garlic powder, cayenne
+ Dijon mustard, honey, fresh rosemary
+ fresh thyme, lemon zest, white wine
+ good quality, low sugar BBQ or teriyaki sauce (Primal Kitchen, Noble Made)
I love eating these hot or cold on a salad and always have a few packs in the freezer ready to defrost.
PRO-TIP: always line your sheet pan with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
Foolproof Oven-Roasted Chicken Thighs
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, organic/pasture-raised
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Herbs, spices, sauce (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Put the chicken in a bowl and season with salt and pepper + a good drizzle of olive oil. Add other seasonings as desired.
Spread chicken in a baking dish or on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 25 minutes until internal temperature is 165 degrees.