Here’s a quick and easy one-pan dish featuring boneless chicken thighs – a favorite of ours for their flavor and juiciness factor, and one of the most under-appreciated and affordable cuts on the market. Boneless thighs are available at most supermarkets and come either skin-on or skinless….we try to find skin-on thighs and trim back some of the skin and extra fat but always keep some of each to crisp up, and for the extra flavor they impart on the veggies underneath, which serve as the perfect bed for roasting. Skinless thighs work great too as do bone-in, and all stay much juicier than chicken breasts and you don’t have to worry as much about overcooking them. Thighs are really versatile, so try different seasonings until you find the go-to combo you like.
Here’s a version my kids love – Roasted thighs rubbed with smoked Spanish paprika, a little Lawry’s seasoning salt, and a pinch of the “secret weapon” – smoked alderwood salt, which gives the dish a great natural BBQ flavor. The smokiness of the paprika and salt really flavor the bed of vegetables below. This one-pan dish takes only 45 minutes start to finish and you can use whatever veggies you have handy. Throw some potatoes into the mix and you have a full meal.
Smoke-Rubbed Chicken Thighs with Roasted Vegetables
- 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs (about 6-8 pieces)
- olive oil – about 2 tablespoons total, or a few glugs
- 2 tablespoons Smoked Spanish Paprika (use domestic or Hungarian as a substitute)
- 1 tablespoon Lawry’a seasoning salt (great to have on the spice rack)
- 1 tablespoon Smoked Alderwood Salt (or other smoked salt)
- Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Vegetables– this is what we had in the fridge and in our garden, so substitute or eliminate as needed)
- 1/2 lb mushrooms – quartered (button and criminis are great)
- 1 yellow squash or zucchini – sliced
- 2 broccoli crowns – cut into florets and stems sliced
- 6 spears asparagus – ends trimmed and sliced to 1″ pieces
- 1 small eggplant (try the Japanese Ichiban variety)
- 1 bell pepper – sliced (green, red, orange or yellow)
- 1 large baking potato – microwaved for 5 minutes to par cook and sliced
- Olive oil – few glugs
- Juice of 1/2 Lemon
- Sprinkle of Salt and Pepper
- Small handful of pitted Kalamata olives – halved
- Teaspoon of capers – rinsed (we keep a jar of salted capers in the fridge at all times)
- Handful of fresh herbs to finish – chopped parsley, chives, and/or a little thyme, mint, rosemary all work great)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees ( use Roast setting if you have it)
- Wash and dry chicken thighs and rub with olive oil and seasonings – set aside and let marinate while you prep veggies
- In a large baking dish (Pyrex is perfect) mix all veggies with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper and work with hands to coat.
- Lay seasoned chicken thighs on top of vegetables (skin side up if using skin-on thighs)
- Roast for 25 minutes until chicken thighs are done – flip once during cooking
- Remove chicken thighs to rest, stir in olives and capers and roast vegetables for another 10-15 minutes to brown…longer if you like them crispy
- Move chicken back to baking dish and top entire dish with juice of 1/2 lemon, drizzle of olive oil and chopped herbs.
- Serve with a bed of roasted veggies topped with chicken and top with juices from the pan. Have some crusty bread handy for dipping in the salty-smoky-lemony pan juice!