Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs
with cauliflower mash / wilted chard and orange
We last featured these juicy chicken thighs back in 2022. They are a breeze to make, getting crisp in the pan and then staying juicy and tender while they finish cooking in the oven. The addition of cinnamon and orange in the chard makes it sweet, fresh, and hard to stop eating!
Smarts: Mashed cauliflower is an easy, delicious, and healthy alternative to mashed potatoes.
- Chard, any type - 1 bunch , thinly sliced
- Shallots - 1 , finely chopped
- Garlic - 4 cloves , finely chopped
- Thyme, fresh leaves - 1 Tbsp , picked leaves
- Chicken thighs, bone-in & skin on - 4
- Oranges - 1/2 , juice and zest of
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Cinnamon, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
- Thyme, fresh leaves - 2 tsp , picked leaves
- Cauliflower - 1 head , chopped into bite-size pieces
- Milk - 1/4 cup
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Garlic powder - 2 tsp
Chard / Shallots / Garlic / Thyme (for chicken and cauliflower) / Cauliflower - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Chicken - Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
Oranges - Zest and juice. Store the zest and juice separately.
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Preheat oven to 425F / 218C degrees.
Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil.
Heat a large oven-safe skillet with oil over medium heat. Add chicken skin-side down. Cook until the skin is golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. (Note: Brown in batches if the chicken cannot all fit easily in a single layer. It will not brown properly if the pan is crowded.)
Sprinkle thyme leaves (portion for chicken) onto the chicken skin. Transfer the skillet with the chicken to heated oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through (internal temperature of 165F / 74C degrees).
While chicken is in the oven, return to boiling water. Add cauliflower florets and boil until tender and easily pierced with a fork, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain cauliflower well and then return it to the pot.
To cauliflower, add milk, butter, garlic powder, and thyme leaves (portion for cauliflower).
Using an immersion blender, potato masher, or a fork, blend / mash the cauliflower until nearly smooth. Season to taste with some salt and pepper.
Remove chicken from the oven and let rest, covered, for at least 5 minutes.
While chicken is resting, transfer skillet you used to cook it to the stovetop over medium-high heat. (Leave any juices / oil from cooking in the pan - it will help flavor the chard.) Add the shallots, garlic, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes and saute until the shallots are translucent, approximately 3 minutes.
Add the orange juice and then chard leaves. Cook the chard until wilted, 1-2 minutes.
Top the chard with orange zest and serve alongside the mashed cauliflower and chicken thighs. Enjoy!