Easy Weeknight Dinner with Chicken, Broccolini and Roasted Potatoes

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Noticed I used the word “easy” again.:) I’m trying my hardest to listen and to make some simple recipes that aren’t labor-intensive and require back-breaking work to make for dinner. I actually found this recipe on Pinterest and of course the pictures looked so yummy and the recipe sounded so easy that I had to try it, http://juliasalbum.com/2015/11/best-baked-maple-dijon-chicken-thighs/ I thought I’d test out this food blogger’s recipe. Her blog is amazing and full of helpful weeknight dinners.

Best Baked Chicken Thighs: (I’ve added my adjustments to Jula’s recipe below in parenthasis.)

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard (I used the entire bottle of a 7.5 oz jar)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (Confession, I could NOT find our maple syrup in our fridge for the life of me so I used pancake syrup. Ssshhh)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (I didn’t have any so I substituted with apple cider vinegar)

Chicken:

  • 5-6 chicken thighs, with skin and bones
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450º F.
  2. Mix together the Dijon mustard, maple syrup and rice vinegar. (I used a 2-cup measuring cup and mixed all the ingredients in it so I could pour it over the chicken.)
  3. Salt and pepper the thighs, then place them in the baking dish – I used 2.5 quart oval casserole dish [13 inches * 9 inches *4 inches deep]. (I just put the chicken in the baking pan and salted them in there and turned them over so I wouldn’t have to dirty up another dish.)
  4. Pour the maple-mustard mixture over the thighs, turning them a couple times to fully coat them.
  5. Place the baking dish with chicken thighs, uncovered, into the oven, and bake for 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165ºF. Baste the chicken thighs with the sauce 2 or 3 times during the last 20 minutes of baking. (I set the timer on 20 minutes before I took them out of the oven. Instead of basting them with the sauce from the baking pan I just flipped the chicken thighs over because there was enough sauce on the bottom to coat them. I then set the timer for another 7 minutes and flipping them again. I did this 3 times. The last time, I added another 5 minutes of cooking time so that the tops would get browner.)
  6. Serve the chicken thighs immediately, on plates, topped with the remaining sauce from the baking dish.

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First I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, generously. Then I used a spoon to spread some of the sauce on one side of the chicken. Then I flipped them over and did the same thing on the other side.

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I turned them over again to thoroughly soak the chicken in the sauce and poured the rest of the remaining sauce on top.

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I normally try to be healthy and don’t buy chicken with skin and bones on them but I knew for this recipe to turn out moist and tender that it needed to have it. Boy am I glad I did because the chicken was super moist and there was enough sauce on the bottom of the baking pan that my daughter said it was like a gravy. As in a sweet and tangy gravy! It was so good.

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For side dishes I also made roasted potatoes and sautéed broccolini with garlic. I used a bag of small golden brown potatoes and cut them in half and mixed them with roasted potato seasoning mix and put them in the same oven as the chicken. They were done after 27 minutes in the oven so I lightly covered them with tin foil while the chicken finished cooking.

In the meantime I minced 2 cloves of garlic, added it to a medium heat pan with some liquid coconut oil and then added the broccolini with a splash of water to help steam the broccolini a little bit. I added salt and pepper while they were cooking. They were done after about 5-7 minutes in low to medium-low heat.

You can make whatever sides you like with the main dish, the baked chicken, but like I’ve said, I try to cook healthy during the week. You could serve it with rice, pasta, steamed veggies, whatever your heart desires. As for me, if my picky 6 year old can eat everything on her plate then it was a success!

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