The Adventures of Kitchen Girl

January 25, 2014

Garlic Parmesan and Herb Crusted Chicken Thighs

We eat a lot of chicken around here... usually breast or thigh meat with the occasional BBQ leg thrown in for good measure. I used to be a breast meat only girl until I learned, more recently, just how delicious a boneless and skinless chicken thigh can be. Chicken legs aren't really my thing. I'm not a big fan of dark meat, but there is something to be said for a good BBQ sauce smothered leg that's been made over charcoal. And my kids think they are the best thing ever, so I do indulge them now and then. But usually, I would have picked a boneless breast over anything else, given the choice. I think it's a throw back to being disturbed by the gristly, venous looking things I always discovered in chicken legs as a child. Just... ew! Or so I thought back then. It really doesn't bother me so much as an adult. Of course, chicken breast meat is the lower calorie and lowest fat option. If you are concerned about calorie or fat content, a skinless breast is the way to go.... but if you are seeking flavor? I'd suggest thigh meat above all else. It's moist and flavorful, much more so than even the most skillfully prepared breast. It's a darker meat than breast meat, yes, but it's not as dark as a leg and it normally doesn't have that gristly bit that a leg can sometimes have. I try to watch my calorie and fat consumption... but personally, I would rather have a smaller portion of something delicious than a larger portion of something just because it has a bit less calories or fat. I believe moderation is the key. There isn't much I won't eat... I just watch my portions and how often I indulge.

This recipe could certainly be used on chicken breast and it's also a delicious way to prepare turkey breast.

What kind of chicken do you prefer?

Garlic Parmesan and Herb Crusted Chicken Thighs
* 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (breasts could also be used)
* 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (use 1/2 the amount of cheese to make it lighter)
* 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (use a low or no fat version to make it lighter)
* 3 cloves garlic, minced fine
* 2 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme
* 2 Tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
* 2 Tablespoons minced fresh flat leaf parsley
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* Olive oil cooking spray for baking dish

1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2: Arrange chicken thighs in baking dish, de-boned side down.

3: Mix together all ingredients. 

4: Spread mixture evenly over chicken.

5: Bake for 40-50 minutes, until topping is bubbly, browned and the chicken thighs register 165* F.

Makes 8 servings