Sticky Sweet Chicken Thighs

I was looking through the internet for some recipes a few nights ago when I should have been studying for a cardiology test. Oops. (Hey, I still got a perfect score on the test, so it’s all good.) I had some bone-in chicken thighs in the fridge that I needed to use up, but I haven’t been to the grocery store in awhile so I was running low on most traditional accompaniments for roast chicken. I scrounged around for something that I could make with the limited ingredients that I had, and shortly before giving up, I stumbled across Witty In The City. The site came up in a search result, and I discovered what the author calls “Man-Pleasing Chicken.”

This recipe is incredibly simple and very tasty. There are only five ingredients for the entire recipe, so it’s simple, and I can just about guarantee that everyone has these ingredients. You’ll have to bear with me on this one–it sounds strange, but the combination of flavors is simply glorious. And besides, would I ever lead you astray? I think not =D

OK, here goes. Assemble your five ingredients, which are as follows:
1-1/2 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (although I’m sure that boneless/skinless thighs will work just as well)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup (it’s imperative that you use real maple syrup here, otherwise the flavor just won’t be the same)
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

I made a few alterations for the recipe. I used about 2 lbs of chicken because it was what I had on hand, but I used the same amount of Dijon and syrup for the sauce. I also used red wine vinegar instead of rice wine, because I don’t think I have ever bought rice wine vinegar. But enough of my drivel, onto the preparation!

It looks like some sort of heinous dipping sauce, but it’s sooooo much better.

Mix the Dijon and syrup together in a bowl, and add the vinegar (save the rosemary until the very end, don’t add it now or it will burn in the oven). Spray an 8×8″ pan with cooking spray and place the thighs in there. HEY! You, in Connecticut! Yeah, you, you know I’m talking to you. Put the chicken thighs in there, not your thighs! Pour the sauce over the thighs, and toss casually so that the sauce coats all of the chicken. Bake at 450 degrees (~230 Celsius) for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165* near the bone. Halfway through cooking, turn the chicken over and then immediately flip it over again–this is just to coat the top of the chicken in sauce again so that it can get crispy and sticky. Mmmmmm. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes in the sauce, and then add the rosemary to the top.

Before…

Halfway there!

The final product. Look at all of that sticky, sweet sauce!

I know, I know, you’re skeptical. Who in their right mind puts maple syrup and mustard together, let alone on top of chicken? I do. You won’t believe me until you try this. It’s delicious! I served this to my parents and they both loved it. I’ll admit, I was scared when I tried the recipe, but it was very well-received. My mother dislikes Dijon and my father detests maple, so I knew that I was on thin ice when I made this. I didn’t tell them what I was making, though, and prepared it under the guise of “Thigh Surprise.” My parents both shot me looks of concern, which only made me want to make this recipe more. I refused to tell them what was in the chicken until they tried it, because I knew that they wouldn’t eat it if they knew the ingredients. They both tried it and enjoyed it very much, and when I spilled the beans, they were both pleasantly surprised that it tasted as good as it did.

Plated with broccoli mushroom salad and sauteed zucchini. The plates were spotless by the end of the meal!

So there ya go–if my late-50s Midwestern parents (the epitome of boring), one of whom is retired, could enjoy this chicken, you’ll swoon over it. Yes, it’s that good.

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