To be honest, I’m not that keen on main dishes. I would so rather graze on an assortment of side dishes, tapas, or appetizers than sit down to a big steak. Don’t get me wrong, I worship a well-cooked filet, but smaller dishes just seem less fussy.
For whatever reason, though, I had the ‘I need to cook a feast, like, right now’ bug this afternoon. So out went the obligatory “Can I make you dinner tonight?” texts, and a few hours later there were three friends-turned-sous chefs in my kitchen. A few minutes later, there was enough mincing, chiffonading, zesting, searing and wine-drinking to keep all of us busy. (Hey, you’re supposed to cook with what you would drink, right? Ina Garten has brainwashed me.)
Chicken isn’t my favorite protein, so it’s a testament to this recipe that I’ve already made it at least four times. You could, hypothetically, use boneless skinless breasts, but the thighs contribute such a boost of flavor that I would seriously dissuade you from doing so. Since the heat seemed to have finally broken by 8 PM, we enjoyed this with a Caprese salad while overlooking Lexington Ave. It was a genuinely perfect summer night.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 6 pieces)
1 lemon, juiced and zested
Dried Italian herb mix (my favorite is McCormick’s Italian herb grinder with rosemary, red pepper, onion, garlic, etc.)
¼ cup white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tbsp cornstarch
Handful of flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
Cook Chicken: Pat chicken dry and temporarily place in a dish. Season one side with salt, pepper, dried herbs, and the juice of half the lemon. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. With tongs, carefully add the chicken seasoned-side down. Once all chicken is in the pan, season the second side with salt, pepper and dried herbs. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, or until a golden-brown crust forms and the thighs are cooked about halfway through.
Flip each piece of chicken over, turn the heat down to medium, and place a lid on the pan. Cook for 10 more minutes. When the chicken is cooked-through, move all of the thighs to a plate to rest.
Make Sauce: Still over medium heat, add the white wine and the juice of the remaining lemon half to deglaze the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon or tongs until all of the brown bits are released from the bottom of the pan. Then, add the minced garlic and another teaspoon or so of the dried herbs. Cook until the garlic just starts to turn golden.
In the meantime, stir together the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water until the mixture is smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture and an extra ¼ cup of water to the pan. Whisk to combine, and simmer the sauce until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 1 minute). Remove from heat. Add parsley and lemon zest, then stir once more.
Assemble: Plate 1-2 chicken thighs per person, top with the sauce, and garnish with additional chopped parsley.