Chicken Thighs 1 Million Ways

If you’ve been to my house for dinner on more than one occasion, there is a seriously high chance you have had braised chicken thighs. Slow-cooking chicken thighs is one of the first things I picked up in the Beauty & Essex kitchen because they used the pulled meat in a variety of applications. Once I got the hang of it, this dish became a staple in my household for three obvious reasons 1. they are cheap 2. they are EASY!!! and 3. they are so versatile depending on what mood you’re in. I’ve never been a slow-cooker aficionado, but this is my idea of “set it and forget.”

Here’s how it goes. Place your chicken thighs in a glass casserole dish. I would estimate about 1 lb. per person but we love having leftovers in my house so I usually make about 5/6 pounds each time. Season thoroughly – sometimes I use my own mixture of salt, pepper and garlic powder. If I’m going latin with the flavoring, I love using Adobo seasoning. When I’m going Indian with it, my best friend’s mom makes this homemade peanut chutney powder that is bonkers good. Whatever direction you are taking this dish, the base seasoning will ensure a flavorful outcome. **When I first got out of culinary school, people would always ask me what I learned. I cannot emphasize this enough when I say that the most important thing is to season your food. SALT + PEPPER people. They are your friends.*** After the chicken is seasoned, place it under the BROILER for approximately 20 minutes. I like the tops of my thighs to be a bit charred (as seen above) because I love textural differences in food. If you don’t want the crunchy bits, 10-15 minutes will be best.

Remove the chicken from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees. (Depending on how fatty your thighs are, you may want to strain some of the fat from your casserole dish before proceeding). Now we’re back to #3. The reason why this dish is titled “Chicken Thighs One Million Ways” is because you have complete creative control over the direction of the flavor of this dish. When I first started making this, I exclusively used my boss’s Rattler barbecue sauce, but then I realized that I could use any sauce of my choosing and transform the exact same dish into something entirely different. I add about one cup of sauce/marinade to the broiled chicken, mix well, cover with tin foil and cook in the 250 degree oven for 3 hours. THAT’S IT!!!

For reference, here are some of my favorite sauce/marinades to use:

  1. We Rub You – Spicy Korean Marinade
  2. Haven’s Kitchen – Nutty Lemongrass OR Chimichurri
  3. Maya Kadima – Madra Curry
  4. Frontera – Fajita Simmer Sauce with Chipotle + Lime
  5. Sweet Baby Ray’s – Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Rotten Bananas

I thought my daughter liked bananas. She used to always eat bananas – whole bananas, sliced bananas with almond butter. Maybe she still does. Our old Nanny loved bananas. But now that she’s gone, I keep buying bananas out of habit, and guess what keeps happening?! No one is eating the damn bananas. So each and every week I have attempted to re-create the bananas into a healthy-ish SOMETHING. Each and every week I end up with some chalky disaster destined for the garbage. I know I am better than this, so I kept trying.

Finally, this happened. These Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins aren’t just good – they are great. It’s four days later and I’ve been eating two before bed and sometimes a 3rd in the middle of the night because I am basically this meme:

Anyhow, the next time you find yourself face-to-face with rotten bananas, I got you. And let me just preface this by saying that I follow a lot of Instagram accounts that try to create healthy-ish baked goods and then I want to copy them but I go and look at the recipes and they have 25 ingredients and I’m immediately over it. This is not that. 10 ingredients and you’re on your way to resurrecting those sorry bananas for the dessert afterlife!

INGREDIENTS

3 overripe bananas

2 eggs, beaten

2 tB. butter, melted

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/8 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of Kosher Salt

PROCEDURE: Preheat oven 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mash your bananas. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix well. In a separate dish, combine your butter and sugar. Mix well and then add the beaten eggs. Add the egg mixture to your bananas and combine. Add your coconut flour, mix again, and then finally add your chocolate chips until completely incorporated. Pour the mixture into 11 muffin tins. Yes, 11. I made this on the fly and it only made 11 muffins. If you’re lucky maybe you’ll get 12. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until spongy and firm to the touch.