Thick Thighs Save Lives

Over the winter, Hampton and I have discovered an appreciation for the humble bone in/skin on chicken thigh. Usually we sear and then braise with some sort of wine or cider and whatever veg we have around, but this weekend, as we wanted to use our new grill for the first time and we were going to host a rehearsal that would run TBD, we decided to put them to use in new ways and even try out the skinless/boneless type.

One of the beauties of this cut is that they’re very forgiving with temperature and tend to stay nice and moist. And the price point is great for feeding groups!

For one of our meals this weekend, I forgot to take a picture until my plate was half-empty, for another, I forgot altogether, and for the third, well, I have never claimed to be a professional food photographer. Please check out the professional links below for gorgeous pics and all the recipe goodness.

Donald Link’s Braised Chicken with Salami and Olives

This was the most like our traditional use of chicken thighs – and one we will come back to! He had me at olives and cured meat.

Hampton was determined to use his birthday present, our new grill, on Saturday – the one non-rainy day we had last week – and invited some friends over for dinner.

He wanted to grill – I gave him three grilled recipes.

Tunisian Chicken Kebabs with Currants and Olives

Besides the deliciousness of this dish altogether, we then used the marinade sauce and the relish for our scrambled eggs and sausage the next day. The sweetness of currants mixed with the slightly spicy and vingegary pickled peppers and the earthy roasted bell pepper made for an exceptionally well-balanced sauce, and those same flavors, plus green olives, were replicated in the relish. So.  Good.

Grilled Carrots with Avocado and Mint

These were very popular! The cumin and lemon dressing was nice and bright, and there’s just something about fresh mint. We will be using this again, for sure.

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Whole-Grain Mustard

Flat 493 loves a sprout, and this was a fun way to shake up one of our favorite veggies.

Next Saturday, we’re premiering a Mardi Gras-themed murder mystery with the Phoenix Theatre Company. We had a readthrough at our house, as it is kindof centrally-located for the cast, and to show it off to the company founder and her husband who hadn’t visited yet. We normally order pizza for these things, as we rehearsed before in our apartment’s clubhouse, but now that we had full kitchen access, I had to cook. And do so with a theme.

Bourbon Chicken

When in New Orleans, right? We ended up eating a little later than planned, but, as mentioned, that’s no issue for the chicken thigh – especially when simmering away in the Crock Pot in this amazing sauce.

Muffuletta Dip

As mentioned above, cured meat and olives bring me great joy. This recipe adds melty cheese and bread.  Heaven!

Our show next Saturday is a private fundraiser, but we’ll bring this new show to our old haunt, the Pittsboro Roadhouse and General Store, at the end of the month. Tix available here.

Because I do so love a theme — and didn’t want to dirty the kitchen twice in one day — I took myself out for lunch on Saturday, picking up a quarter of a chicken from Slappy’s and walking around the corner to Southside Beer Garden.  It is the best/worst thing ever that these great small businesses are walking-distance from our house. Come on, warmer weather!

all the Southern goodness


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