Thank you, Diane Sanfilippo, for introducing me to the magic of chicken thighs.
Chicken thighs are where it’s at. They’re more economical and they’re delicious. The darker meat stays moist so you don’t have to worry about it drying out the way breast meat does.
I’ve adapted Diane’s recipe by brining the chicken in a salty bath before cooking, a process which I’ve come to use before cooking all of my chicken recipes as of late, which ensures the chicken is super-extra tender. I’ve also cut down on the salt in the spice blend.
This is currently my favorite dinner and the leftovers make crazy delicious breakfasts and lunches! Since each chicken thigh is packed with protein and flavor I find that all I need is one serving to be satiated.
Take note that the spice blend is indeed quite spicy so go easy with the seasoning if you’re serving little ones.
peaches & cake
Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken Thighs
Adapted from Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo
Yield: 6 bacon-wrapped chicken thighs
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (preferably organic free-range)
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- Bay leaf (optional)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled (optional)
- 12 slices of bacon (preferably nitrate-free bacon, such as Applegate Farms or Wellshire)
- Smoky Spice Blend, recipe below
- Place chicken thighs in a large Tupperware container, bowl, or large Ziploc bag. Fill with water until chicken is completely covered (several cups). Add 2 tablespoons of salt and mix everything around. Add bay leaf and garlic clove. Cover and refrigerate and let brine for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove chicken from refrigerator and drain water. Discard bay leaf and garlic clove, and pat chicken dry with a paper towel.
- Season the chicken thighs with a few teaspoons of the Smoky Spice Blend, then wrap each one in 2 strips of bacon.
- Place on a parchment or foil-lined baking pan and sprinkle the chicken all over with the Spice Blend until lightly coated (you may have a little left over which can use for vegetables, etc.).
- Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with mustard or barbecue sauce on the side, if desired.
Smoky Spice Blend:
- 1 Tbsp. chipotle powder
- 1 Tbsp. paprika
- 1 Tbsp. onion powder
- ½ Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- ½ Tbsp. fresh ground black pepper
Combine all spices in a small bowl or container and cover until ready to use.