CRISPY CIAO BELLA CHICKEN THIGHS WITH PEAS, ZUCCHINI, AND MINT

6 large chicken thighs, bone in and skin on (about 3 ½ – 4 pounds)

1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided

1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1 tablespoon Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 leek, white and light green parts chopped (about 2 cups)

6 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 small-medium zucchini, cut into ½” thick half-moons (about 2 cups)

¼ cup mint leaves, large leaves chopped and small leaves whole

2 teaspoons flour

¼ cup dry white wine

¼ cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 cups frozen peas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Trim any excess fat off the chicken breasts.  Season them on both sides with 1 teaspoon of the salt, ½ teaspoon of the black pepper, and the Italian seasoning.

Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the seasoned chicken thighs, skin-side-down.  Cook for 4-5 minutes until the skin is golden brown and crispy.  Flip them over and cook for 1 more minute on the other side.  Remove from the pan and place them, skin-side-up, on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Place them in the oven to finish cooking (to 160-165 degrees in the thickest part) while you prepare the rest of the dish, about 15-20 minutes depending the size of the thighs.

Add the leeks and garlic to the pan drippings from the thighs and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the zucchini and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes until zucchini is soft and begins to lightly brown.  Add the remaining ½ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, the mint, and flour to the pan and stir until the flour is absorbed.

Add the wine, chicken stock, and lemon juice to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring, until the sauce is slightly thickened.  Stir in the peas and cook until just heated through.  Note – do not at the peas until you are almost ready to serve so they don’t overcook.

Add the thighs and any juices from baking sheet to the skillet and stir to combine.  Serve with rice, mashed potatoes, or grain of your choice.

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