Thighs to Die for!

Remember I told you that all the recipes I’d be posting for the next month or so would be Ketogenic compliant? Well, I meant it.  So if you are not a fan of dietary fat (and really you should be, fat isn’t the enemy),  then this isn’t for you. Except that it’s insanely delicious, easy, and relatively quick…so you might need to rethink your position and make this lickety-split. 

I fully admit that I’ve been struggling with getting my macros right on this low-carb, high-fat experiment. I think part of it might be because I grew up during the height of the NO FAT era, and part of it is because it’s HOT here in NC right now so I’m not too keen on heavy foods. I’m making liberal use of avocados and olive oil to be sure, but the rest of the household isn’t as excited about cold dinners as I am. So sometimes I have to cook things. Wait, isn’t that what the grill is for? Face-Palm. I’ll work on some grilled Keto recipes soon! 

This dish fits in perfectly with what and how I’m trying to eat. Its got tasty skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, full-fat cream, grass-fed butter, chicken stock (aka bone broth), and lemon juice. Oh, also sea salt—hello minerals—and tastebud pleasing Smoked Paprika! Could it get any better? 

I made this batch in a cast iron skillet. I love the versatility of a cast iron pan; it goes from the stove,  to the oven, to the table with no problem. And as far as getting a nice crisp skin on anything, you can’t beat the even heat of cast iron pan. But if you don’t have one, no worries. You can use any heavy bottomed skillet, but I do recommend you use one that can go into the oven. Part of the joy of this dish is the ease of using one pan. You could even cook your veggies in the pan with  the chicken if you want to. I roasted broccoli on a separate pan, but you do what you feel. This would also be great over cauliflower rice, to soak up the sauce. 

Let’s get to it, shall we? 

Hungry yet?

Hungry yet?

Crispy Chicken Thighs in Lemon Cream Sauce

8 Chicken Thighs, Skin-on Bone-in
2 tbsp Grass Fed Butter or Ghee
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4-1/2 cup Chicken Stock
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Smoked Paprika

Pre-heat Oven to 375 convection or 400 standard
Pat chicken dry with paper towels, season both sides with Salt, Pepper, and Smoked Paprika
Heat Cast Iron skillet (or other heavy bottomed skillet) over Medium high heat, until very hot but not smoking. 
Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in the pan and add 4 Chicken Thighs. Allow to cook without moving for 5 minutes. When the skin is crisped, the thighs should release easily from the pan. When ready, turn the thighs over and cook on the other side until crispy. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken adding more butter to the pan if needed. 
When all of the chicken has been cooked until crispy, lower the heat and saute the garlic until softened. Do not burn the garlic. 
When garlic is softened and fragrant, deglaze the pan with a bit of the chicken stock. Make sure to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. I call these ‘magic flavor crystals’, but really they’re the fond. 
Add the lemon juice to the pan and bring up to a simmer. 
Allow to reduce by half, then add the cream.
Bring back to a gentle simmer and reduce again by half. 
Place chicken back in the pan and place in the oven for 20 minutes (or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork)
Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm
If sauce has become to thin or thick,  adjust accordingly by simmering to reduce or adding stock. Sprinkle the zest into the sauce and stir to combine. 
Plate chicken and top with sauce. 
Serve this with any seasonal vegetable you like. I chose broccoli, roasted and topped with freshly shredded parmesan cheese.
This also reheats quite nicely, and if refrigerated in the sauce, it becomes even more moist and flavorful. 

This same sauce would also pair well with fish, seafood, or pork. Just adjust your cooking times appropriately. Heck, you could even use tempeh or tofu if you like those foods. 

There you go, relatively easy and quick and so delicious! 

How's your diet? Are you feeling good about how you're eating, and how it's affecting your health? The old adage 'We are what we eat' has a lot of truth to it. If you eat crap, you'll feel like crap. If you eat real food full of nutrients and flavor, you'll feel much better. If you need help figuring how to eat right for your life, contact me. I can help you find your way.