Another first for me today: I bought chicken thighs. For some reason the notion of chicken thighs always grossed me out. And if I’m being honest, when I read the “must make” recipe for Cracklin’ Chicken that everyone raves about on the Whole 30 Facebook groups and saw that it called for chicken thighs, I almost chickened out (see what I did there?). But this 30-day challenge is not about backing down from things that used to gross me out! It’s about buying the chicken thighs with pride! And then having to use kitchen scissors to cut out the disgusting bone from each thigh! And not gag!
I’ve been told by fellow Whole 30-ers to hang on to the bones and leftover bits so I can make a chicken stock later. So now I literally have a bag of bones in my freezer. Another first. A bag of bones and chicken guts in my freezer. Is this some kind of right of passage? Am I a legit cook now? I feel like I need a badge or pin or something…
I self high-fived that I actually remembered to put the sweet potatoes in the oven an hour before I was hoping to eat. That literally never happens. I’m killing it today. So back to the thighs. After I DEFINITELY DIDN’T GAG while cutting out the bones from the thighs, I got to smoosh them! Another first! I remember when Chad moved his kitchen stuff in and he brought this thing and I was too embarrassed to ask what the heck it was for. Well now I know! And I actually used it properly! This has been quite a day.
So after the smooshing, the thin thighs went skin-side-up and I sprinkled them with sea salt. I let them sit for a bit since the actual cooking of the thighs doesn’t take that long & Chad wasn’t home from work yet. So I washed & chopped up some veggies for the salad.
Side note: I feel as if I’ve spent a million hours washing & chopping vegetables in the last 3 weeks. I guess this is what clean eating is like.
I was excited to crackle this chicken! So 2 teaspoons of ghee went into the iron skillet on medium-high, and then the four now-thin thighs went in, skin-side-down. They sizzled for about 10 minutes, and I seasoned the other side with some poultry seasoning we had in the pantry that *surprise* didn’t have sugar in it! Go on with your bad self, Paul Prudhomme! Then I flipped them & cooked the other side for about 3 minutes & set them on a wire rack to rest for a few.
I had hoped to conquer the “everything is ready at the same time” monster that I’ve been chasing for the last 3 weeks, but as luck would have it, the sweet potatoes — even after spending an hour in a 400 oven — STILL weren’t done. Ugh. So I covered the chicken and threw those bad boys back in on 425 for another 15. So the chicken wasn’t so cracklin’ by the time I served it, but it was still AMAZING warmed up a bit. The sweet potatoes were delicious (thank you, Costco) with some ghee on them, and I jazzed up the salad with some Tessemae’s balsamic vinaigrette. All in all, a fabulous meal was had by all. Or both. Since there’s only two of us. But you get the picture.
Cracklin’ Chicken, you’re the cracklin-est! I will definitely make this again, even if it means confronting those thigh bones again. *shudder*
Baby steps. Baby steps.