SEASAME CHICKEN THIGHS WITH SHITAKE GINGER CREAM SAUCE

Ingredients

4 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons white sesame seeds

3 tablespoons black sesame seeds

3 tablespoons peanut oil

1 small onion, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh ginger root, minced

6 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 cups whipping cream

2 tablespoons prepared wasabi mustard

3 cups cooked sushi rice, cooked to package directions

¼ cup scallions, chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Trim any excess fat off the chicken thighs and pat them dry with paper towels.  Season them on both sides with salt and pepper.

Combine white and black sesame seeds in a small bowl and gently press about 2-3 teaspoons of this mixture onto the skin side of each thigh.

Heat the peanut oil in a large deep cast iron or oven-proof skillet* over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot, cook the thighs, skin-side-down, for 6-8 minutes until browned and crispy.  Flip and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate while you make the sauce.  Note the chicken will not be completely cooked through.

Add the onion, ginger, and garlic to the pan drippings. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring, until fragrant. Add mushrooms and soy sauce and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and begin to lightly brown. Add the sesame oil, heavy cream, and wasabi mustard to the pan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  Add the chicken thighs back to the pan, skin-side-up along with any drippings that have formed on the plate.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the thighs are cooked through and register 160-165 degrees internally.

Serve the chicken thighs over the sushi rice and top with tons of that delicious sauce.  Garnish with chopped scallions.

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