Easy Savory Chicken Thighs

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Necessity is the mother of invention.  Necessity is also the mother of many of my easiest yet favorite recipes.

Preparing dinner is perhaps the most difficult task of my day though planning meals is rather relaxing for me.  I can plan menus easily while entertaining a curious toddler or keeping a climbing baby safe.  I can even write up my weekly dinner plans if I feel miserable and need someone to take care of me.  But making dinner with these distractions is another story.

I planned to make chicken enchiladas, one of our family favorites.  Plans changed, more than once.  After getting the children settled enough to work on dinner, I suddenly felt miserable.  Miserable as in I-can't-make-dinner miserable.

Plan B was to make enchiladas but without much effort being put into preparing the chicken.  I used a simplified method from a more complicated recipe I found for braised chicken.  While the chicken was cooking, I felt less and less like finishing dinner.  Plan C~ use chicken as is.  Dinner would have to be very simple.

How do you measure the success of the meals you make for your family?

I have a scale for measuring my success with a meal that is completely based on my husband's reactions.  If he describes it as 'really good', it was a scrumptious meal.  If he informs others at the table that no knife is needed, the meat is a savory masterpiece.

Dinner was completed with rice {prepared in the rice cooker} and some oranges.  This lazy meal was at the top of my simple scale.  My husband informed the children they didn't need knives because the chicken 'is really tender.'  He even illustrated for my six year old how easy it was to pull apart.  He reminded all more than once that no knife was needed.  And a few times he said, 'The chicken is really good.'

Tips and Tricks~

*Simple steps to savory chicken~ season, sear and roast.
*Change the spices to your liking.  I came up with this spice mixture because I planned to use the chicken in enchiladas, but the cumin and onion powder happen to be two favorite flavors.
*Need a bit more time before you can serve dinner?  At the end of the cooking time, it does not harm the quality of the chicken to leave it in the oven for up to 20 or 30 minutes.  Turn the oven off and keep the lid on the pan.
*Used boneless, skinless chicken thighs but could do this with other cuts of meat such as chicken breasts or pork chops.
*Excellent way to cook chicken to use in other recipes such as enchiladas or casseroles.  Very flavorful and tender.

Easy Savory Chicken Thighs

2 tbsp olive oil
6~8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
large sweet onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 325F.  Combine cumin, onion powder, salt, thyme and pepper.  Heat oil in dutch oven {which has a lid} over medium~high heat.  Add chicken thighs and top with mixed spices.  Brown for 3 minutes then turn chicken pieces over.  Top with chopped onion and brown for 3 minutes.  Cover and transfer to preheated oven.  Cook for 1 hour.  Serve over warm rice with a side of fruit or vegetables for an easy dinner.

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Catching my breath. Be back ASAP.