Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

I didn't initially intend to post this recipe, but when I tasted it, I decided that I couldn’t keep it to myself.  My last post for Roasted Garlic Mashed Faux-tatoes addressed the concept of substituting non-primal ingredients when necessary.  This recipe does much the same thing for breaded chicken, and the results are outstanding!  Every once in a while, I long for something a little crispy or crunchy which tends to be non-existent in the paleo world, because anything “breaded” is usually off-limits. 
However, creating a paleo-friendly “breading” seemed to do just the trick for my crispy craving.  If there is one thing the primal lifestyle teaches you, it’s a sense of innovation and resourcefulness.  So, for this recipe, I replaced bread crumbs with coconut flour and flaxseed meal.  In my opinion, coconut flour alone tends to have a more cakey texture, but adding the flaxseed meal increased the crunch factor.  One comment I received when I made this chicken was that the breading tasted a little like stuffing.  Who knew experimentation could turn out so successful?

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

¼ cup butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup coconut flour 
½ cup flaxseed meal 
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup other shredded cheese of choice (I used mild cheddar)
¼ tsp dried parsley
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the minced garlic.  Simmer on low for 3-5 minutes and set aside.
  3. In a large, flat container, mix together the coconut flour, flaxseed meal, cheeses, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. One at a time, dip the chicken thighs into the garlic butter, completely coating both sides.  Then, coat completely in the coconut flour mixture.  Arrange the coated chicken thighs in a 9 x 13 baking dish with about an inch of space in between each thigh (I used a 9 x 13 dish and a second slightly smaller one to accommodate all 8 thighs).
  5. Sprinkle the leftover coconut flour mixture over the thighs for extra crispiness.
  6. Bake in a 375ºF oven for about 30 minutes and check for doneness. If not cooked through, keep in the oven for 5 more minutes.

Note: The cheese can be omitted for strict paleo followers.