Oven Baked Chicken Thighs

Dark meat vs white meat. Dark meat has gotten a bad reputation for it's higher content of saturated fat. However, there are some redeeming qualities that should bring dark meat back up for reconsideration as a healthy food choice. That's right, dark meat is not all bad! A quick comparison of white meat and dark meat; A 3 oz serving of white meat chicken breast holds 140 calories and 26 grams of protein. The same serving size of a chicken thigh with no skin contains 180 calories and 22 grams of protein. That's not a huge difference. Women require 46 grams of protein per day and men 56 grams. But if these numbers are a little too "numbery" then simply keep in mind the fact that whether it's white or dark meat you are serving;  men and women alike will consume about half of their daily required protein intake. It's as simple as that. And remember the myoglobin protein that dark meat has a lot of is necessary for rebuilding those muscles and cell regrowth. 

What You'll Need:

  1. 4 bone in chicken thighs with or without skin ( I choose to remove the skin before eating)
  2. 2 garlic gloves, minced
  3. Fresh thyme, optional
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or bottled
  5. Olive oil
  6. Salt and pepper

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Lightly spray a baking pan or baking dish and set aside
  3. Mince your garlic cloves and set aside
  4. Pull the skin away from the chicken to add the spices under the skin too
  5. In a small bowl I mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with 1/4 cup of olive oil and I put my fingers right in the oil mixture and rub all over the chicken and under skin
  6. Season chicken including under the skin with salt and pepper to your liking, then put the minced garlic under and on top of skin and repeat with the thyme if you choose to use this spice.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes and when your meat thermometer is placed in the thickest part of the chicken and near the bone and it reads 165 degree it is done! Enjoy!

A few notes: It is no longer recommended to rinse chicken before preparing to cook. Another way to help determine if chicken is cooked thoroughly is if the juices run clear. You can add any spices you like to this recipe. I love fresh thyme but rosemary works great too as well as others. The beauty of being the chef is that you are in charge so you get to decide.