I love this recipe because of the boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Unlike the perfectly lean, smooth meat of the chicken breast, skinless thighs occupy a middle ground between delicate white meat and the richer, more sinewy flesh of the drumstick and wing. Without their bones and skin, thighs are often appealing to diners who prefer unbroken expanses of texturally uniform, un-squishy meat easily eaten with a knife and fork — no gnawing or fingers required.
Technique tip: Make the cucumber yogurt sauce when the chicken is in the oven to be efficient with your time, but also, the flavors in the sauce will develop more with time. The cucumber yogurt is great the next day!
Swap options: For a thicker, richer sauce, use labneh or sour cream. And if you're not a fan of mint, use parsley or cilantro. Both are delicious!
- 2¼-2½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, finely grated, minced or passed through a press, divided
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme or oregano leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 lemon, cut lengthwise into thin wedges
- 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek or other strained, thick yogurt
- 1/2 cup grated seedless cucumber, such as Persian or hothouse cucumbers
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, for serving
Heat oven to 425 F.2.
Season chicken generously with the salt and pepper.3.
In a large bowl, combine 3 of the grated garlic cloves, thyme or oregano, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Add chicken and lemon wedges and toss until well-coated (if you want to work ahead, you can refrigerate the chicken for up to 12 hours before roasting).4.
Arrange chicken and lemons on a sheet pan in a single layer. Drizzle with a little more oil and roast until chicken is cooked through, 27 to 35 minutes. If you'd like more color on your chicken, run the pan under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until chicken is lightly charred in places.5.
While chicken is in the oven, make the cucumber yogurt. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, grated cucumber, and remaining minced garlic clove. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.6.
To serve, squeeze roasted lemon wedges all over chicken and sprinkle with mint and more red pepper flakes if you like. Serve chicken accompanied by cucumber yogurt sauce and a drizzle of olive oil over everything.