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Chicken Thighs Every Which Way

I’m taking a day off from political ranting. I want to talk food, specifically chicken. Everyone likes to joke that lots of things “taste like chicken.” The truth is that chicken tastes like lots of things — or can be made to.

There are dozens, probably hundreds of chicken recipes that are presented as though each, somehow, is different from the others. Here are a half-dozen of those and they all use the same culinary platform: chicken thighs with skin and bones.

They all start the same way and end the same way. The differences are in the spices and accompanying ingredients in the middle.

Start with the thighs (one per person works). Brown them in butter and olive oil. Set aside. Make one of the sauces below — always use the same pan. Return the thighs skin side up, cover and simmer for about 50 minutes. S & P appropriately. All the sauces may need thinning (add more broth, potato or pasta water) or thickening (cornstarch or flour dissolved in broth).



1 shallot sliced

3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped

handful of fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, rosemary, sage all work)

mushrooms — morels work well but any you wish (rehydrate dried, of course)

1 c cream — reduced to about half (use separate pan)

1 c white wine — a Riesling or Gewürztraminer work best

sauté shallot and garlic with herbs same pan the chicken was browned in

add mushrooms, reduced cream and wine



1 shallot sliced

3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped

handful of fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, rosemary, sage all work)

1/2 lb pearl onions

1 T flour

2 T beef stock

1 c cream

4 T fresh lemon juice or several slices of a lemon

sauté shallot, garlic and onions with herbs

stir in flour

add beef stock and cream

add lemon juice (or slices) at the very end — off heat



1 c of the “trinity” (chopped green pepper, onion and celery)

1 T of Cajun spices (mix of cayenne, ground black pepper, onion and garlic salt, cumin, paprika works but if store-bought Prudhomme’s is good)

1 T flour

1 1/2 c chicken stock 

sauté the veggies with the spice mix till they start to brown

stir in flour

add stock



1 shallot sliced

3 garlic cloves smashed and chopped

1 T ginger root - smashed and chopped

8 oz mushrooms — shitakes, enokis, matsutakes all good but, heck, any ‘shroom will work

1 or 2 T of fresh, chopped herbs — parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano 

1 T flour

1/2 white wine

1 c chicken broth

2 T soy sauce

sauté shallot, garlic, ginger and mushrooms with the herbs

stir in flour

deglaze with wine and reduce

add broth and soy

(some hot pepper flakes can go in with the herbs if you like)



1 onion chopped

1 garlic clove smashed and chopped

1 red pepper chopped

1 medium sweet potato in 3/4” cubes

1 T Mexican chili powder

1 oz. unsweetened chocolate cut in small pieces

2 T flour

1 1/2 c chicken broth

sauté onion, garlic, red pepper and sweet potato

stir in flour

add broth, chili powder and chocolate — cook till chocolate melts

(good garnishes are sour cream and cilantro) 



1 white onion rough chop

3 garlic cloves smashed and chopped

1 or 2 chipotle chilies chopped finely

1 chili pepper (Serrano or Thai) chopped

1/2 t cumin

2 T flour

1/4 c white wine

1 1/2 c chicken broth

sauté onion, garlic with chilies and cumin

stir in four

deglaze with wine

add chicken broth

(tossing in a handful or two of peas and carrots works)

garnish with chopped cilantro

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