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What to Do With Cheap Chicken Thighs? Smother Them

Put down that package of boneless, skinless, tasteless, and overpriced chicken breasts. Pick up that package of skin-on, bone-in, and on-sale chicken thighs. You can turn those thighs into an incredibly good meal for very little money. As a case in point, I recently bought thighs on sale for 69 cents a pound. For a smidgen over four dollars, I had 10 good sized chicken thighs--plenty for a couple of dinners and left overs. I turned part of the thighs into an easy comfort food dish: Smothered Chicken. The thighs get a quick browning in a hot pan, and then nestle in a simple pan sauce for about 20 minutes, turning into into a moist, flavorful meal. Serve the thighs atop rice and "smothered" with sauce for an easy, company worthy, and inexpensive meal. You'll wonder why you ever wanted those boring, overpriced chicken breasts. Oh, and if you're worried about the fat in the chicken skin, remove it before you eat the thighs but leave it on for the cooking process. The skin will keep the chicken moist and impart wonderful flavor to the chicken while it cooks.

Smothered Chicken Thighs

Smothered Chicken Thighs -- Serves 4+

6 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and skin

1/2 teaspoon of lemon pepper

1 cup of flour, divided

1-2 tablespoons of canola oil

2 onions, chopped

1 cup of carrots, sliced into thin rounds

1 cup of celery, chopped (a couple of ribs)

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1 teaspoon of dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon of poultry seasoning

2 1/2 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth (or reconstituted chicken "Better Than Bullion")

Chopped parsley (optional)

Rice (for serving, optional)

Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and season them with the lemon pepper. Dust the thighs (both sides) with about half a cup of flour. Let the floured thighs stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, if possible. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the thighs, skin-side-down, to the hot pan and let them brown for 5 or 6 minutes. When well-browned on the skin-side, flip the thighs and brown them on the other side for about 5 minutes. Remove the thighs from the skillet to a plate. Drain off all but about 1 tablespoon of the grease and return the skillet to the heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and saute them for 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle in the garlic powder, salt, pepper, thyme, poultry seasoning, and the remainder of the flour. Stir the mixture for a few minutes to incorporate the seasonings and flour. Stir in the chicken broth and stir the mixture for a few minutes until the broth is incorporated and the mixture thickens slightly. Nestle the chicken thighs, crispy skin side up, in the sauce and partially cover the skillet. Let the thighs cook in the sauce for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. Sprinkle on the parsley, if you'd like. Serve the thighs atop rice or the grain/potato/pasta of your choice with plenty of sauce on top and along side. Ummm.

Smothered Chicken Thighs

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