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Life-Changing Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs with a Corn, Tomato and Basil Salad

Life-Changing Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs with a Corn, Tomato and Basil Salad
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A New Way to Cook a Favorite Ingredient and an end of Summer Salad to serve alongside.

Andrew’s sister Lauren and I have a great time finding comments on recipes that are off the wall.  These are from people who cooked an entirely different dish. They substitute so many ingredients that their dish could not possibly resemble the recipe they are angrily commenting on. We found Meghan Splawn’s great recipe on thekitchn.com. This garlicky, ultra-crispy Chicken Thighs on a bed of Green Beans uses just 5 ingredients. So substitutions weren’t the commenters problem here.  Their complaints were about the admittedly daunting word “Life-Changing”.  “Since I don’t like the dark meat of chicken, I sincerely doubt that this recipe will change my life,” wrote Soulee 10. JCFricke at least made the recipe.  But he or she followed the familiar pattern of overruling the technique for creating the sublimely juicy interior and then moaned about how the recipe was “not Life-Changing for me”.  I am happy to tell you it really was “Life-Changing” at our house: Andrew, a white meat/breast fancier, owed as how the thighs were now his favorite part of the Chicken. Bravo!

About the Cooking Technique…Start with a Cold Pan.

We will never cook steak on a stovetop any other way.  If you follow Chewing The Fat, you may recall our recent post “Forget Everything You Know About Cooking a Great Steak” (link follows). That’s when we discovered that starting out with a cold pan allows you far better temperature control, letting you slowly build crispness into the skin. If you add skin-on chicken thighs to a very hot pan, the skin contracts quickly tightens up and shrinks.  Skin that seizes up is chewy, not crispy.  This is also true of Duck Breasts. Here the pan heats up slowly, cooks the fat out of the skin and the chicken thighs begin to cook in their own fat, the skin getting crispier and crispier.  You can use any vegetables you choose.  Carrots, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts will all be coated in sauce. The garlic just adds to the flavor.

How to Debone Chicken Thighs

You can use Bone-In Chicken thighs but this will require a little more cooking time on both stovetop and in the oven. But honestly, it’s really easy to debone Chicken thighs. Flip each thigh over so it is skin-side down. Using kitchen shears, cut through the meat along both sides of the center bone, making sure not to cut all the way through the meat and skin. Cut off the cartilage at the top and bottom of the bone. Cut underneath the bone, which will cut the bone off completely from the thigh. Use the shears to trim off any excess fat, cartilage, or skin. Now you’re ready to cook.

A Side of Corn Tomatoes and Basil is a Perfect End of Summer Salad.

A colorful, simple salad is a great accompaniment to the Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs. The recipe couldn’t be easier. Corn off the Cob and a little garlic are briefly sautéed, cooled briefly and then the Tomatoes and half the Basil are added. The salad is are tossed in Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar and topped with more Basil and you’re done in all of 10 minutes. The salad can be served immediately or chilled for up to 8 hours. The recipe follows the one for the Chicken.


Life-Changing Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs

September 15, 2020
: 4 to 6 (I halved the recipe)
: 20 min
: 35 min
: 55 min
: The De-boning of the Chicken Thigh is the only thing challenging about this recipe. But it's worth every minute.

A completely new way to cook Chicken Thighs on the stove-top and finished off in the oven for an ultra-crisp skin and a one-dish dinner.


  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6 small) de-boned.
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons
  • unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen green beans
  • Step 1 Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF.
  • Step 2 Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season on all sides with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Trim and cut the green beans in half crosswise.
  • Step 3 Place the chicken thighs skin-side down in a large (12-inch) oven-safe skillet, preferably cast iron, and turn the heat to medium. Cook undisturbed until the skin is golden and crispy, using tongs to move the thighs around the pan after 10 minutes to ensure even browning, 15 to 18 minutes total (they will not be cooked through at this point). Meanwhile, place 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HIGH until melted, 30 to 45 seconds. Mince 4 garlic cloves and add to the melted butter.
  • Step 4 Transfer the chicken skin-side up to a clean plate, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Add 12 ounces green beans to the pan, season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and toss to coat the beans in the chicken fat. Place the chicken thighs skin-side up on the green beans.
  • Step 5 Drizzle the garlic butter over the chicken and green beans and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast until the chicken is deeply golden brown, crispy, and registers 160ºF in the thickest part, 12 to 15 minutes. Using bone-in chicken thighs: You can skip the deboning step if you prefer. Bone-in thighs take longer to cook, so err on the longer end of the suggested cooking ranges both in the pan and in the oven, and be sure to check the chicken’s internal temperature before serving.

Corn, Tomato and Basil Salad

September 15, 2020
: 6
: 5 min
: 6 min
: The hardest part is taking the corn off the cob.

A perfect end-of-summer salad that makes the best use of the last of the fresh corn and tomatoes. But you can serve this at any high summer meal too!


  • 6 large ears of fresh corn
  • 5 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
  • 3 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • Step 1 Using a large knife, cut the kernels from the corn cobs.
  • Step 2 Heat 2 tbsp.oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the corn and cook just through–about 5 minutes.
  • Step 3 Remove the skillet from the heat. Add 1/4 cup of basil.
  • Step 4 Transfer corn mixture to a large bowl. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, vinegar, and remaining 3 tbsp. oil and 1/4 cup of basil.
  • Step 5 Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Step 6 Cover and chill up to 8 hours

Forget Everything You Know About Cooking A Great Steak

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