There’s food!! Food is happiness!
I do still remember how to thrown down in the kitchen. I may have let some stuff go to the wayside over the summer, but I did still eat and still eat now that school is back! (Yes, my stomach is happy about it, too!)
Let’s be fair, when it’s 100 degrees outside, you sort of lose your desire to be the next Iron Chef. Now that it finally cooled down this weekend and I didn’t feel like I would be dying of a heat stroke in my kitchen (even with central AC), I kind of felt more inclined to hang out and make some actual good noms.
We love some chicken in my house (in case that wasn’t blatantly obvious yet). But you know what we also love? BACON. Bacon, essentially makes everything better, no matter what it is. You could put bacon on shoe leather and it would taste amazing (at least, so I’ve been told).
My dish here was based off a recipe I saw on Pinterest from Julia’s Album. It looked pretty delicious, but me being me, I changed up the flavor a little bit to suit my household. Cooking the chicken thighs directly in the bacon fat that had been rendered and hitting them with a good coating of McCormick’s Cajun Spice Blend (I’m pretty sure we use that on everything these days) gave a deeper and more intense flavor in my opinion. You can obviously dial down the spice a little to suit your palate, but we’re spicy here.
I also used a nice hickory smoked bacon. We usually keep a huge hunk of applewood bacon in our freezer, which I’m sure would have been equally as delicious, but I think the hickory made it a little more smokey, which was also delicious. The best part? It’s all cooked on the stovetop, so if you’re still sweltering, you don’t need to turn on your oven. Serve it with a nice side of rice and a veggie? Total win.
And it just looked pretty. Pretty food is usually tasty food.
Chicken Thighs in Bacon Cream Sauce
- 8 strips of hickory smoked bacon (or whatever you prefer)
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs
- 1.5 tbsp Season-All/Seasoned salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp McCormick Cajun Spice Blend
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated (I grated, of course)
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 4 slices of lemon
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2-3 scallions, chopped
1. Preheat a deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Fry bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan reserving the bacon fat in the pan.
2. While bacon is cooking, combine seasoned salt, pepper, thyme, italian seasonings, and cajun spice in a small bowl. Generously rub the seasoning blend into the chicken thighs; skin side and meat side. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes while bacon is rendering.
3. Once the bacon is out of the pan, gently add the thighs to the pan (over medium heat), skin side down. Cook them for about 5-7 minutes, without flipping them or moving them too much. Check, gently, after 5 minutes to make sure that the thighs aren’t too browned. Once browned, remove from the skillet and allow them to rest on a plate, skin side up.
**Tip: I only did two thighs at a time so that they wouldn’t crowd the pan and so they would get a good hard sear on the skin.
4. Once the thighs have been pulled out, add in grated/minced garlic and a splash of the chicken stock, while stirring, to de-glaze the pan. Cook garlic for one minute. Then add the remaining chicken stock to the pan. Crumble about four slices of the cooked bacon and add it to the pan sauce. Place the chicken back in the pan with the sauce and arrange the four lemon slices on top of the thighs.
5. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers about 165 degrees inside the thigh.
6. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken from the pan and discard the lemon slices. Stir in heavy cream and most of the scallions. Whisk sauce together about 1-2 minutes until it thickens slightly. Place chicken back in the sauce to coat and reheat chicken as needed,
7. Serve chicken topped with pan sauce and sprinkled with the reserved bacon (crumbled) and scallions.
**It was delicious with rice and green beans! ENJOY!!