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Video: Chicken thighs four tasty ways

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    MATT LAUER, co-host: And this morning on HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING TODAY , chicken thighs; the inexpensive, underappreciated cut of meat. Mark Bittman , a New York Times columnist and author of "How to Cook Everything" has four fast and flavorful recipes. Mark, good morning. Nice to see you.

    Mr. MARK BITTMAN: Good morning, Matt.

    LAUER: You know me, I don't say things just to please you in these segments.

    Mr. BITTMAN: No, no, you never have. Never.

    LAUER: I know. So I'm going to tell you, thighs -- chicken thighs, that's my favorite part of the chicken .

    Mr. BITTMAN: And Roker said the same thing.

    LAUER: I love these things.

    Mr. BITTMAN: Yeah. Yeah, me too, because...

    LAUER: But most people go right to the breast. They want the white meat.

    Mr. BITTMAN: Well, they want the white meat. They think it's low fat , it's easy, it's fast. But this is easy, it's fast. You get this great crisp skin on it. It's juicy.

    LAUER: Is it fattier, though, than the white meat?

    Mr. BITTMAN: It is a little fattier, which is why it's more flavorful.

    LAUER: Right, OK.

    Mr. BITTMAN: I mean, and the idea is you can eat a little bit less also if you're worried about that.

    LAUER: I put a little salt and pepper , some rosemary right on the grill . But you've got other recipes. Let's talk about them.

    Mr. BITTMAN: Rosemary lemon is one of my favorite things.

    LAUER: OK.

    Mr. BITTMAN: Rosemary lemon is really great. Well, we're doing four different sauces. Basically, this is -- this is roast chicken . So you take the thighs, you brush them with any of these sauces. We're starting with...

    LAUER: Mustard?

    Mr. BITTMAN: ...mustard with a little oil and some honey, and that's the first sauce.

    LAUER: You don't marinate this, you just coat these right before you're going to cook them?

    Mr. BITTMAN: I don't -- no marinating is happening here. What's happening is just a quick mixing and some brushing.

    LAUER: You just brush it on liberally?

    Mr. BITTMAN: Yeah, brush it on. And in the middle of cooking, turn it and brush it again.

    LAUER: Now, when it comes to dark meat, what's the rule on cooking? It takes a little longer than white meat?

    Mr. BITTMAN: It'll take a little longer. But really, if you roast these at high heat and you turn them once at about 10 or 12 minutes, you're going to get them crisp on both sides. They'll be done in 20, 25 minutes.

    LAUER: And one of the nice things about dark meat is...

    Mr. BITTMAN: And really nice and juicy.

    LAUER: ...it's a little more tolerant to overcooking.

    Mr. BITTMAN: It is.

    LAUER: God forbid , you leave it on a little bit long, it still tastes good.

    Mr. BITTMAN: It is. So -- but you get this -- you know, you get this wonderful -- I mean, these are the honey -- the honey mustard ones. You get this wonderful, crisp skin. Here's some soy sauce , honey again.

    LAUER: OK, you like the honey.

    Mr. BITTMAN: Sorry about that. That was vinegar. And ginger.

    LAUER: OK.

    Mr. BITTMAN: And that's...

    LAUER: A little more of an Asian taste to it?

    Mr. BITTMAN: Yeah, more of an Asian thing. You finish that with some scallions and maybe on some rice.

    LAUER: OK.

    Mr. BITTMAN: Here we've got -- this is great. This is sort of a Mexican -- a Mexican flavor. We've got olive oil , some lime juice , chili powder and smoked paprika. And, you know, again, you can do -- if you want to do a provencale thing with thyme and lavender, you -- garlic. You can do, as you said, rosemary and lemon juice . Sort of almost any combination of flavors you like is going to work here.

    LAUER: One of -- one of the things I like most about the thighs is if you're -- if you're in one of those households where you can pick them up and eat them, which I think most people say -- they say...

    Mr. BITTMAN: I think we're going to see that here...

    LAUER: ...you get more meat off these things.

    Mr. BITTMAN: ...in about a minute.

    LAUER: Just right after the -- right in the commercial break , actually. You get more meat after these things. It's easy to get the meat off a thigh as opposed to a breast, in my opinion.

    Mr. BITTMAN: Yeah. Well, and you just munch away. And again -- oh, here we go.

    MEREDITH VIEIRA, co-host: Mm, we smell good cooking.

    Mr. BITTMAN: Just the last one before we flee is coconut milk , peanut butter and curry powder for a very nice Thai flavor.

    LAUER: Thai.

    ANN CURRY, anchor: Mm.

    Mr. BITTMAN: Great with chopped peanuts or bean sprouts , stuff like that .

    VIEIRA: Which is the crispiest one?

    LAUER: Over here on the end. Al , you said you like thighs.

    AL ROKER reporting: Yes, I do.

    Mr. BITTMAN: I would go for here.

    LAUER: Meredith...

    VIEIRA: One of these?

    LAUER: No, go for this one.

    Mr. BITTMAN: The honey mustard . Well, it depends on what you want.

    ROKER: Mm.

    VIEIRA: You want one?

    Mr. BITTMAN: Oh, gee, it just happened to fall off.

    LAUER: Sorry, that was a piece of bone, actually. But that's OK.

    VIEIRA: Mm.

    LAUER: Mark, these are great recipes.

    ROKER: Oh.

    LAUER: We thank you very much .

    ROKER: Enjoy.

    LAUER: The underappreciated chicken thigh.

TODAY recipes
updated 4/7/2010 9:27:43 AM ET 2010-04-07T13:27:43

Recipe: Roast chicken thighs, four ways

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone-in
  • Honey-mustard sauce
  • Melted butter or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Ginger-soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • Chile-lime sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • Thai sauce
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Put the chicken in a roasting pan, skin side up, sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush with your selected sauce; put the pan in the oven.

After the chicken has cooked for 10 minutes, baste again with the sauce and turn the pieces; brush the other side and roast for another 10 minutes.

Turn the chicken over (now skin side up again), brush again with the sauce, and roast for another 5 minutes or until the chicken is done (you'll see clear juices if you make a small cut in the meat near the bone).

For sauces:

Honey-mustard: Combine 2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil with 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon honey.

Ginger-soy: Combine 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger with 3 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil.

Chile-lime: Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika.

Thai: Combine 3 tablespoons coconut milk with 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter and 1/2 teaspoon curry powder.

Serving Size

4 servings


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