Dinner can be an easy triumph of flavors or a burden that clings to your to do list all day long. Thing is — it has to be addressed. You may be able to subsist on a cup of coffee and a dry piece of toast in the morning or a cafeteria-style sandwich at noon, but at home, with the kids whining “what’s for dinner?” not so much. It’s time to get your game face on with these Juicy Asian-Style Chicken Thighs.
My girlfriend, Nola turned me on to this recipe and now it’s in our weekly rotation. I’ve adapted from Naomi Pomeroy’s Wedding Chicken. Beware, it’s addictive!!!
I’ll be honest, if I’m alone for dinner, I don’t even think about cooking a full meal. A glass of wine with a handful of Wheat Thins — and I’m happy. But when my husband and daughter are home, a shoulder shrug of indifference just ain’t going to cut it, which is why I like to have a game plan. Something quick and easy that I can assemble either the night before or the morning of. Like these Juicy Asian-Style Chicken Thighs. Simple and absolutely delicious!
I love Asian-style marinades because they call for aggressive flavorings. Garlic, of course. Ginger usually. Soy – for that salty umami, maybe some fish sauce for a little funk, some sort of acid like vinegar or citrus juice and sugar and spice for the hot-sweet aspect we all crave.
If you’re an expedient sous chef, meaning you can chop and mince with the best of them, this marinade might take you ten minutes to prepare. If you’re a little slower, fifteen minutes. Assemble everything in a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk it together and pour over the chicken thighs in a zip-top bag. Stick it in the fridge to marinate. Done!
When you’re ready to cook, slice an onion to make a “bed” for the chicken and roast in a very hot oven to get a crispy golden skin. The end result is moist, tender and full of flavor — in other words a dinner triumph! Serve with a squeeze of lime, fresh cilantro leaves and a sprinkle of extra sliced chilies if your into heat. I made four thighs because our family is small, but if you have more folks to feed, or if you’ve got a serious appetite, this recipe can be doubled.
Juicy Asian-Style Chicken Thighs
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice from about half the lime
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nam pla fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 serrano peppers thinly sliced or 1 large jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
- 4 meaty chicken thighs trimmed of excess fat
- 1 large Vidalia onion or large spanish onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- lime wedges
- fresh cilantro
- additional serrano peppers sliced
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the ginger, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, nam pla brown sugar, and serrano peppers, stirring until brown sugar dissolves.
Place the chicken thighs in a zip-top plastic bag and pour the marinade over them. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it tightly. With your hands work the chicken thighs into the marinade until well coated. Place the bag on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for 8-10 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 450°.
Slice the onion crosswise in about 1/4"-1/2" rings, toss them with the olive oil and arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and pat them dry with a paper towel. Arrange the chicken on top of the onions. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until skin is crispy and meat is cooked through.
To serve, arrange the onions on a plate and top with the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro, lime wedges and additional slices of serrano peppers, if desired.