Eat Well: Chicken thighs with honey-lime glaze

I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, or medical professional- I’m just a girl who took control of her health through diet and healthy living habits!

Chicken thighs get a bad rep.  Maybe you’re not pro-dark meat on the chicken debate, but I’m here to convince you to change your mind.  They are one of the unsung heroes of the chicken world- delicious, moist, and full of good fats for your diet.  Yes, fat!  Fat is not your enemy in allergy-free eating. It helps you feel satiated and that’s a big deal when you may already feel like you’re depriving yourself.

While white meat chicken is lower in calories, dark meat  contains more iron, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamins B6 and B12.  That dark meat also contains higher levels of myoglobin, a compound that enables muscles to transport oxygen, which is needed to fuel activity. It’s the perfect food for allergy-free eating and for fueling yourself when you have a good workout planned for the day!  Finally, it’s so much cheaper to buy dark meat chicken, which will enable you to feed a larger brood and cut back on the grocery bills.  Eating allergy-free doesn’t have to break the bank.

The trick when you’re trying to eat allergy free is to find ways to up the flavor so  you don’t miss the cheese.  That was a hard one for me when I first started out because I am such a cheese-lover.  This Michigan girl with Wisconsin family members *really* had a hard time giving up the butter and cheese.

This recipe for chicken thighs with a honey-lime glaze will make you forget that you are missing out.  I love to try recipes I find online and this one looked amazing with it’s promise for a quick weekday cook time.  When I first started out, I would have avoided the rice as I was eliminating grains.  If you are doing that too, this would be delicious with a side of broccoli or perhaps over a bed of mashed potatoes (use Earth Balance butter for a vegan version that is dairy-free!).  Since I have to feed my boyfriend too (super hungry), I decided to go with the rice option…with a twist. Wait for it…..a copycat on the Chipotle cilantro lime rice!

Let me preface this by sharing with you that I’m not an incredible cook by nature.  I’ve had to teach myself because of the food allergies and I usually lean to easier recipes!

*Note: You’ll need to marinate the chicken for an hour before you start cooking!

You’ll need:

Liquid for the marinade: 2T olive oil and juice of 2 limes
1T honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t  ground tumeric (I didn’t have this in a spice jar so I broke open a tumeric pill I take as a supplement)
1/4 t  ground ginger
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs ($4.16 cost)
salt
pepper
2 cups white rice, cooked, for serving (if you want to make it like Chipotle, add in 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, 2T fresh lime juice, and 2T fresh lemon juice after it’s done cooking.  A dash of olive oil will make it seem creamy without using butter!)

Prep the marinade (with photos below):  

First, make the marinade: Whisk together  olive oil, lime juice, honey, garlic, tumeric, and ground ginger.
Add chicken (make sure to rinse and pat it off first!) and toss to evenly coat with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.

 

 

 

 

Don’t you love this owl tablespoon measuring cup?

 

 

 

  Make sure to roll your lime before you juice!

 These citrus pressers are the best invention ever!

 Ready to whisk!

Not the prettiest, but smells great!  Now, into the bag with the chicken!

 I like to use large ziplock bags for marinating. Easy clean up- just throw it!

Cook it up:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Start up the rice in a pot so it can be ready!

To a large, oven-proof skillet, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium-high heat. Season both sides of marinated chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan skin-side down and pour in the marinade.


Sear until the skin becomes golden and crispy, about 6 minutes. Flip the chicken thighs, and cook 2 minutes more. Turn off the heat and transfer pan into hot oven; bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes more.  I love stovetop to oven cooking because there are less dirty dishes to clean!

Serve over white rice and drizzle with extra pan drippings.

Beautiful glaze on the chicken when it comes out of the oven!

The verdict:                                                                                                                                                                     

The flavor is AMAZING.  I wasn’t expecting the glaze to be so citrusy.  It’s a bright, sunny finish to the dish that paired great with the lime/cilantro rice. The chicken was tender and the skin had a nice crispy finish.  I spooned the glaze from the pan and wished I could bottle it. The glaze got quite dark and I thought I had burned it in the oven, but not the case!  My guy loved it and gobbled up two helpings.

Advice for next time:                                                                                                                                                   

The chicken took almost 30 minutes to cook in the oven for me.  Not sure if that is a flaw in the recipe directions or if my oven is colder than temperature.

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