Simple Suppers: Roasted Chicken Thighs

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Inside: We’re updating another food post, so cue the lovely food photography and easy-to-make recipe as we bring you Simple Suppers: Roasted Chicken Thighs. 

Simple Suppers: Roasted Chicken Thighs
A nice substantial supper that’s easy to prepare. Photo courtesy of Emily Moore.

Hands down, this is one of my favorite suppers. I came upon it by accident, really. I wanted my protein, and I didn’t want to stand around some skillet babysitting a piece of chicken. But my dilemma was I hadn’t thawed out any meat. So what’s a busy (or lazy) girl to do?

Grab a frozen chicken thigh, smear bacon grease over the top, season, and bake. How easy is that? Now, admittedly, it does take some patience waiting for the thighs to roast–an hour and twenty minute’s worth, mind you–but you’re free to go about your day doing other things. I can almost hear Mr. Rogers singing the waiting song, “Let’s think of something to do . . .”

Hmmm. . . A nap sounds good. Only to be woken by the wonderful smell of roasting meat. Just make sure you set the timer–and that you aren’t a deep sleeper!

Oven-roasted chicken thighs for a simple supper.
Come closer, you gorgeous hunk of chicken! Photo by Emily Moore.

So what can you pair with these oven-roasted beauties? Salad, of course. Green peas with plenty of butter would work well. My favorite, though, is green beans. I’ve often interrupted the baking, about thirty minutes in, to throw a few handfuls of–you guessed it–frozen green beans in the pan. If you’re partial to the idea, a word of caution: Don’t over crowd the pan with meat. I typically bake two thighs in an 8 x 8 pan. Because most chicken contains a salt solution these days, along with the bacon grease for this recipe, there is quite a bit of juice left in the pan.

Simple Suppers: Roasted Chicken Thighs
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Easy to make, no meat to thaw, and little prep time makes this an ideal simple supper.
  • 4 frozen chicken thighs with skin
  • 2 tablespoons of bacon grease (I keep mine in the refrigerator, which makes it stick better to the meat)
  • seasonings: salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Take the frozen thighs and place them in a large baking pan (9 x 13 is ideal), skin side up and not overcrowding them.
  3. Smear ½ a tablespoon of bacon grease over the top and sides of each thigh.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders to taste.
  5. Place pan in the oven and roast until the skin is golden brown, approximately 80 - 90 minutes.

Notes: I have used thawed chicken thighs and bacon grease drippings from my morning bacon, and it will work (adjust time accordingly), but what makes the frozen thighs and chilled bacon grease work so well is that the grease sticks to the meat longer, resulting in a crispy skin with all that bacon-y goodness. When serving, I spoon some of the pan drippings over my meat for even more flavor.

Ovens vary widely, and if yours tends to run hotter, you might start checking about an hour into the cooking time, looking for that golden brown color.

Do you have any tricks for getting supper on the table quickly? Tell us about it in the comments.

Simple oven-roasted chicken.
Yum! Time to eat. Photo by Emily Moore.

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