Food & Nutrition

Three-Speed Dinners: Transform Humble Chicken Thighs into Three Excellent Meals

Bridge the gap from winter to spring with slow-cooker stew, an easy braise, and Korean-inspired kebabs.
Published December 1, 2015

Where we live in New England, winter is hard. It’s two-faced. Aren’t we halfway to summer? Then why did I get in my car this morning and turn on the heater? 

We wanted to take a rather mundane dinner ingredient—good ol’ chicken thighs—and let it express this two-faced quality of winter. Our twenty-minute Korean-Inspired Skewers help us dream of grilling, of summer evenings, of lighter fare (even if we’re still indoors for dinner). By contrast, our forty-minute dish comes right out of Italian country cooking: wrapping the chicken in prosciutto before braising it to keep the meat moist and flavorful, a light meal with bolder flavors for those nights when we still can’t open the windows. And our last dish, a slow-cooker stew, is a last nod to winter: hearty fare meant to bring us in from the chill. 

Most bone-in chicken thighs are sold with the skin still on them. To remove it, use a paper towel to grasp one end and pull the skin off the meat, holding firmly to that paper towel. You may see a few chunks of yellow fat on the meat. Slice these off and discard them as well. 

So let’s all hope for spring even if we’re not quite there yet. Unless you live in San Diego. In which case, make a double batch of skewers. You and your friends are probably already out on the deck. Up here in New England, we’re glaring at you from afar. 

About the 20-Minute Korean-Inspired Chicken and Broccoli Skewers
There’s quite a bit of heat in all that black pepper. If you’d like more, add up to 1 teaspoon Sriracha to the marinade. 

Ready to start cooking? Click here for the recipe 

About the 40-Minute Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Thighs 
This trattoria-inspired dish is best served in bowls so you can enjoy the chicken with the brothy sauce. If desired, serve over whole-wheat croutons or cooked and drained whole-wheat farfalle (or bow-tie pasta). There’s no salt here because the prosciutto adds plenty. The only trick is to brown the wrapped thighs well so that the prosciutto and chicken impart a lot of flavor to that sauce. 

Ready to start cooking? Click here for the recipe 

About the All-Day (Slow Cooker) Bistro Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms and Pearl Onions 
There’s no need to buy an expensive ticket to Paris when you’ve got a slow cooker. Here’s a way to turn chicken thighs into a hearty, comforting stew, maybe (let’s hope) the last gasp of wintry fare before the cold weather finally lets up. Brown the chicken well so it imparts a savory, sophisticated flavor to the stew. 

Ready to start cooking? Click here for the recipe