Food is love. When something major happens in a person’s life, the BEST thing you can do for them is to cook them a meal. It says, “I’m here for you, I’m thinking about you, and I know that sitting in your house talking about it might not be the best thing right now – here’s dinner”. This dish is easy, universally pleasing, and the perfect give away meal.
I came home from the hospital (after having my daughter) on a Sunday morning, and can still see my friend Kristen walking through the door that afternoon with a dish in her hands. She literally just wanted to give kisses and drop off food – it was incredible. If you haven’t had a baby yet, let me tell you a little something. You come home from the hospital utterly exhausted already, and you hurt everywhere. Like, everywhere. You have NO idea what to do with this tiny lamb of a person, and in the back of your mind is that fact that you’re already like, 15 overdue for thank you cards. The ONLY good part of this process is getting to hold your baby. Well, in walks well-wishes who say, “here, I’ll hold the baby so you can rest”. “Resting” usually means getting said person a beverage and frantically trying to hide the piles of baby stuff that you
stole from the hospital left on the floor. Also, if you’re anything like I was you will be savagely hungry.
A surgery, death, move, sick kid, etc – BRING A MEAL. It requires you to take some time from your day to do something for someone else, but it will be SO appreciated and make you feel like you’re helping in some way. If your go-to for meal bringing is lasagna or baked ziti, consider this. While delicious, these meals can be “heavy”. If you know the person you are cooking for likes to eat healthy or is watching their weight, be considerate and make your dish healthy! This chicken is under 200 calories per serving and gluten/dairy free. Brown rice and salad would make great accompaniments.
Do you ever choose thighs?
(Is there anything better than baby thigh rolls?) But no, CHICKEN thighs. They are slightly higher calories than breasts, but at least half the price, not to mention juicier and more flavorful. This dish requires thighs, and can be almost totally made ahead so the recipient can just reheat and add the toppings. The recipe serves 10-12, so if you are making it for a family of 6, I’d make the whole thing and they can have leftovers. I had TWO meals to make, so I made the full recipe but split it into two different dishes. With brown rice and salad, it’s the perfect, tasty, healthy meal!
Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs
Adapted from Clean Eating
You can make this at least 8 hours in advance and keep refrigerated – bake before serving
4 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3/4 c. whole grain mustard
3/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 green bell peppers
2 red bell peppers
olive oil cooking spray
1/4 c. chopped toasted unsalted almonds
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1. Combine garlic, mustard, honey, thyme, and cayenne and mix to combine.
2. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and place in Tupperware.
3. To the rest of the mixture, add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
4. To roast peppers, set oven to broil and raise an oven rack to the highest position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and place whole peppers on sheet. Broil until blackened, then turn, until each pepper is thoroughly and completely black. Alternately, this can be down on top of a gas burner. Just put the burner on high and set pepper right in the flame. Using tongs, turn the pepper to make it black all over. Even easier, skip roasting the peppers yourself and buy them – you will need two heaping cups worth.
5. As soon as they’re cooked, place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let cool about 20 minutes. Remove the blackened skin, stem, and seeds and slice the pepper into strips.
6. Refrigerate peppers, covered, until ready to use.
7. When chicken has marinated, preheat oven to broil and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on sheet and broil for 7-10 minutes or until tops are golden. Turn chicken over and return to oven for about 5 more minutes.
8. Let chicken cool.
9. In a 9×13 baking dish (or two 8×8 pans), spread out peppers. Top with chicken and pour over remaining honey mustard mixture. Mix well.
10. If cooking immediately, preheat oven to 300 degrees. If serving later, refrigerate, covered. Cook for 20 minutes, uncovered. Top with chopped almonds and parsley and serve.
I can’t show you a pic of the finished dish complete with toppings because I gave them both away! I got full reports, though, from the diners and it’s ALL GOOD IN THE HOOD. My husband came in while I was packaging them up and said, “what’s that? I want it”. I think we had eggs for dinner – so sad.