Saturday, 17 September 2011

... chicken thighs of course!

Gary from Exploits of a Food Nut recently asked me, via twitter, what would be the first thing I cook in my new ranger cooker?... and the answer's not as simple as you may think... you see, if i'm perfectly truthful, it would be a cup of tea...! we have a lovely whistling kettle that was designated to the back of the garage shelf for three months whilst we set up the temporary kitchen and it was the first thing to come out and heat up on the new ceramic hob... but I guess that's not really what he meant...

... one of the things that The Viking and I both really missed was breakfast... we're both big egg eaters and there's only so much microwave scrambled egg two men can eat... so the first proper thing to be cooked on the new range was indeed a full english; eggs, bacon, mushrooms, sausages... but perhaps not a full meal eh...? well of course i've been using it for a couple of weeks, a loaf here, a banana bread there but my first proper meal was (drum-roll please)... chicken thighs... of course!

black is the new black

I have been running around like a loon for the past couple of days and one of the things I love about cooking chicken thigh dishes is that you can quite literally throw stuff into a dish and bung it in the oven and an hour or so later you have a delicious hot meal, with no slaving or bother... plus the chicken thigh has the perfect amount of fat and tender flesh to build the foundations of a really tasty dish...and that's why the humble chicken thigh still get's my vote... i've paired it here with a fennel, which is the most glorious of vegetables and sucks up all those lovely chicken juices whilst infusing the whole pot with a subtle aniseed flavour...

Roast Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Peas

6 on the bone, chicken thighs - skin on
1 large fennel
1 medium carrot
1 large stick of celery
a handful of garden peas
half a glass of white wine

- roughly chop all the veg, sprinkle them with the herbs of your choice and throw them into a large oven-proof roasting dish.

- lay the chicken thighs on top, skin up, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper and pour in the wine.

- bung it in a hot oven (190 - 200) and leave it for 30 minutes, at which point you turn the thighs over for a further 30 minutes.

- after this time, turn the oven down to 150, throw the peas in, a little water if needed and turn the chicken thighs back over to go golden and crispy.

totally heavenly eaten by itself or with some creamy mash... and of course, enjoy!


  1. I love the addition of the fennel Dom to add to the flavour of this comfort food.

  2. This is so up my alley, Dom. I am hard pressed to know whether thighs or drumsticks are my favorite chicken parts. But it seems to me that either would suffice in this recipe.

  3. A full english on your brand spanking new cooker? Think of all the fat splatter, you are truly nuts (in a totally lovable kind of a way!)
    And your thighs look lovely lol

  4. This is my kind of cooking and my kind of dinner! It looks delish.

  5. @ stephen: haha i like chicken legs - i.e. thigh AND drumstick together (: though I would say thighs over drumsticks.

    the food looks lovely dom, that's a dinner I have very often when I come home tired from school!

  6. I LOVE the look of those crispy thighs....and I now have black whistling kettle envy too ~ I know what you mean about using a real kettle, I love mine when I use my range.....great post Dom, I always was a sucker for a plate of nice thighs! The recipe looks great and the photo is brilliant.

  7. Those black pots look so cool! My son and DIL have one of those Le Creuset whistling kettles, they love it. And so to your thighs, what can I say...delicious darling X

  8. I think a full english is the perfect thing to cook on any new hob. (Although you didn't mention black pudding - that would be a must for me). Leaving that aside, I would have put money on the first dish being chicken thighs - and I reckon that's a good choice, too. Love the fennel.

  9. Black is the new black! Excellent, looks lovely :) I lovce using chicken thighs too - never understood why people go mad for chicken breasts whne the thigh meat has so much more flavour and ends up much more tender! Great post :)

  10. A full English breakfast is a brilliant way of christening your new range. Seems very appropriate somehow and very hard to beat too - haven't had one of those for a long time

  11. But which sweet bake gets to go first Dom?!

  12. A fry up was the first thing I cooked when we had our kitchen done, think its something about the immediacy after wanting home cooked food for so long.
    Here's to many more delicious recipes from your lovely and stylish new kitchen. x

  13. I'm a thigh girl too! Every time!

    (Well, ok, a nice arse does it for me but now we're not talking chicken any more...)

  14. I bet these were yummy with the fennel and wine. I guess your oven is working like a charm.

  15. It just had to be chicken thighs to christen the new oven - otherwise it would have been a bit like being unfaithful, wouldn't it?????


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