Wednesday Dinner: Honey-Chili Chicken Thighs with Cilantro Cream

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Chicken thighs again.

I know. I could have reached out of the box and gone for something with a little more flair, but I try to build in one meal each week that does not take a lot of effort to assemble in case I get home later than normal. Today’s 2 p.m. conference call ran a little more than 90 minutes, which pushed back the rest of my afternoon. I left about a half-hour later than normal.

Thus, chicken thighs.

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We’ve covered why I like cooking with chicken thighs in the past, but this sauce came together nicely and did not require a long marination.

WHAT WORKED: Everything here is complementary, but the beer was the catalyst that activated everything. The original recipe calls for an amber. The closest I had on hand was a bock from St. Lawrence Brewing Company.

WHAT DIDN’T: My only complaint is that I would like the cream sauce to be a little thicker.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: Nothing. The Kid was pretty chatty tonight and she dominated the conversation at the table.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: That sauce would be good during the summer or as a base for tacos.

Honey & Chili Chicken Thighs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce
Based on Emma Christensen’s original at The Kitchn

  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder (NOTE: I used McCormick’s, but I would rather have something like Penzey’s ground ancho chili)
  • 1/4 cup amber beer
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 lime, zest and juice

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Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Add honey, chili powder, vinegar, beer and olive oil to a large mixing bowl, then whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the chicken thighs to the bowl and, using a large wooden spoon, stir so that the chicken is coated on all sides. Set aside.

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Add sour cream, cilantro, and lime zest and juice to the pitcher of a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Blend until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

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Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray (or use Reynolds nonstick foil). Set the chicken thighs on the pan, taking care not to crowd them. Pour any remaining chili-vinegar marinade over the top. Transfer to the oven and roasted for 30 minutes.

Serve chicken with cilantro cream sauce on the side.


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