You know how sometimes you buy really nice things for your pet, like a new toy or a new bed, but all they want is that weird old blanket in your closet? I feel like that's how TC is with food. Not that I'm comparing him to a pet or anything heh.
My point is, I can try new things in the kitchen all I want - bake up giant batches of brownies, knead countless balls of dough for pizzas or buns or breads, spend a bajillion hours at the stove stirring up batches of curry, test countless sponge cake recipes, or make my prettiest pie.
But of course TC's favorite thing out of all the stuff I've ever tried to make is this stupid one-pan baked chicken thighs. The one meal that is absolutely zero fun to make. It’s the thing you whip up only when you’re tired of cooking. Or when, at 2am right before bed you suddenly think, omg I haven’t defrosted anything for lunch, what the hell am I going to make? Okay chicken thighs it is. The last resort. The thing that takes no effort.
It’s TC’s favorite meal. He hovers around when I make it and bounces like an excited child, saying stuff like YESSS IT’S CHICKEN THIGH DAY. Are you going to put brussel sprouts in that? Please???
Gosh. The thing is, I can’t really take much credit for baking a chicken thigh, can I? It’s like someone telling you that they love it when you boil ramen for them, or that you’re really great at buttering toast. Once you’ve worked out the amount of time it needs to sit in the oven… well the oven is pretty much doing all the work. All I’ve done is sprinkled some spices and sliced some brussel sprouts. Sometimes I add potatoes or make a side of risotto but he doesn’t even care. It’s really all about the baked chicken thighs and brussel sprouts for him, which is flipping infuriating. It’s not even that he adores chicken thighs in general - I don’t get this sort of reaction when I try to grill it or braise it or anything. No, he likes it best when I just pop it in the oven for 30min with his favorite veggies.
I guess it’s not the worst thing in the world that he doesn’t expect much for his food. I suspect that it’s partially because it leaves him like a million less dishes to wash. His worst nightmare is probably when I bake something complicated, because then all the whisks, beaters, piping tips, piping bags etc. come out to play. There’s nothing worse than trying to wash butter frosting from a piping bag…
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs and Brussel Sprouts
What you need:
- 2 bone-in chicken thighs
- 1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1/2 lb brussel sprouts, halved.
- 1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp pepper
How to do it:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Coat chicken thighs with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. You can also add any other herbs/spices/spice mix that you'd like - usually I go with some thyme.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Place chicken thighs skin side down and allow it to sear for 5-10min until skin is quite crispy.
- After 5-10min, flip the chicken so that it is skin side up. Transfer the cast iron skillet to the oven and bake for 15min.
- After 15min, toss brussel sprouts with salt and pepper, and add it into the cast iron skillet. Continue to bake for another 15min. Internal temperatures of the chicken thighs should reach 165 degrees and the skin should be shatteringly crispy.