Last night I made dinner for a dear friend and her family. My friend had surgery on Monday and spent the night in the hospital, arriving home on Tuesday. I wanted to help her out by bringing a meal to them for Wednesday evening. Elizabeth is a wonderful friend who I met when our kids were in first or second grade. They are now seniors in high school and will be graduating in June. Her husband, Paul and daughter, Rachel are wonderful. Dennis, Kylie and I always enjoy the times we spend together with them.
Elizabeth and I both volunteered for the Holiday Wonderland in Del Mar. She was the liaison for her daughter’s elementary school, and I was the liaison for my daughter’s elementary school. We became fast friends and eventually formed the Del Mar Dinner Club. We have a great time with the other two couples in our dinner club, Jack and JoAnne and Michael and Karin. It’s something we look forward to quarterly, always a fun night. In fact, I’m up to host next, so I need to put my thinking cap on and come up with a plan.
For dinner last night, I prepared chicken thighs that I had sprinkled with kosher salt, pepper and dried thyme. I put together a marinade of white wine – I chose a Pinot Grigio, balsamic vinegar, the juice of two lemons, dijon mustard and garlic cloves.
I usually prefer chicken breasts, but the thighs looked so good at Sprouts Farmer’s Market yesterday, that I decided to use them. Oh my goodness … I have a new place in my heart for chicken thighs. These were so fabulous, I plan to make them for my wonderful brother-in-law, Doug and his adorable wife, Kelly, when they come to visit next weekend. I hope they like them as much as Elizabeth and her family did!
I grilled the thighs on my indoor grill pan on my cooktop first for about 3-4 minutes per side, just long enough to get grill marks. I then placed them on a pan and placed them in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. WOW! These were amazing. Paul even said to me “this looks just like a dinner club delivery.” That made me so happy! I wanted it to be extra special for them. This dinner was fabulous enough to serve to guests, but easy enough to make for your family during the week. It definitely wasn’t a 30 minute meal, but it wasn’t difficult by any means.
Along with the chicken, I made whipped potatoes and green beans that I roasted with mushrooms (Bellas and white), shallots, kosher salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I added Smart Balance margarine to my potatoes, kosher salt and pepper before whipping them with my hand mixer. I poured my extra marinade into a sauce pan and cooked it until it boiled so that my friends could use it as gravy over the potatoes.
8 chicken thighs
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
juice of 2 lemons
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place thighs in a large glass dish, sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper and thyme. In a large glass measuring cup, add wine, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard and minced garlic. Pour over chicken and let marinate for 1-3 hours (or more if you’d like).
Heat olive oil on an indoor grill pan. Once oil is heated, place chicken on grill pan. Grill 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a sheet pan and place in oven to bake for 25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Enjoy!
Until next time, Kris