I cook chicken at least once a week and when I do I’m most often roasting a pan of chicken thighs. In addition to being very versatile, I think chicken thighs are tastier and more flavorful than breasts and less prone to drying out. Further, it’s easier to eat a smaller portion of thighs since you don’t have that huge breast on your plate. For my family of three I usually cook four to six thighs at a time. Anthony usually eats two and I’ll eat a thigh and a half with Isobel eating the remainder. Sometimes I’ll want to have leftovers for a salad the next day so I’ll cook more, but usually I just go with what happens to be on sale.
Sweet mustard sauces are one of my favorite flavor combinations ever, and this recipe came to me while I was helping myself to a generous portion of mustard and apricot preserves to eat with my cheese plate. Instead of honey I made a sauce combining Dijon mustard and apricot preserves so you get the sweetness with sharp mustard as well as a pleasant fruit taste. Fruit preserves are often used in barbecue sauces and so it was a natural leap. This is my current favorite way to prepare chicken and I hope my family doesn’t get tired of eating sweet roasted amber-colored chicken before I do.
- 4-6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
- 2-3 tbs apricot or peach preserves
- 2-3 tbs grainy prepared Dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Remove chicken from package, rinse and pat dry and arrange in baking dish
- Mix equal parts apricot preserves and Dijon mustard in a bowl, 2-3 tablespoons each. Mix well.
- Using a pastry brush, paint a thin layer of the sauce all over the top and sides of the chicken.
- Place in the oven and set the timer for 2o minutes. Brush chicken with another layer of sauce at the 20 minute-mark and set timer for another twenty minutes.
- After the next 20 minutes is up, brush chicken with another layer of sauce and set timer for five minutes. When that timer goes off your chicken will be done. (Double check that the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh near the bone reads at least 165 degrees F.)
Your chicken will have cooked a total of 45 minutes with three coats of sauce counting the original. This will make the skin divinely sweet, flavorful, and crispy.
I served this chicken with sauteed onions and mushrooms, stir-fried baby bok choy with soy sauce, and roasted new potatoes from the farmer’s market. Brown rice would also be lovely.