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Roasted chicken thighs are the perfect weeknight dinner. Requiring little prep work and lots of passive cooking time, it’s so easy to toss some chicken into the oven and then quickly make a salad or starch to serve alongside it.
But even seasoned chefs can learn from the New York Times’ resident culinary expert Melissa Clark. Clark’s secret to tender, juicy chicken thighs is a must-try, even if you have a go-to chicken recipe that you’ve been using for years.
Trust us, you’ll be glad you mixed it up with Clark’s chicken thigh recipe because get this: It’s a two-in-one recipe. After you’re done roasting and devouring your dinner, the leftovers are easily transformed into a hearty soup with orzo and spinach.
To start, Clark’s recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken things, which are fatty and more flavorful than other parts of the bird. Season the thighs with salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, lemon wedges and red pepper flakes. At this point you can roast the thighs right away or you can let them marinate in the fridge for up to 12 hours before putting them in the oven.
To make the accompanying sauce, you’ll need cucumber, Greek yogurt and fresh mint. Serve it alongside your thighs with a drizzle of olive oil on top.
You can find Clark’s full recipe on the New York Times Cooking site.
Now for the leftovers! Clark’s recipe for spicy chicken and orzo soup has a kick of heat thanks to red pepper flakes and cumin, but you can reduce or omit the red pepper to make things less spicy.
First, saute some diced onion, garlic, tomato paste, cumin and red pepper. Then, add chicken stock and cook your orzo until it is tender before adding in the leftover chicken thighs and fresh spinach. So easy and yummy — plus, it’s an economical recipe that ensures none of your leftovers will go to waste.
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