This baked chicken thighs in sauce recipe is the perfect combination of tangy and sweet, with the zing of dijon mustard and the natural sweetness of honey. If you're looking for an easy yet flavorful meal that's sure to please, look no further. The chicken thighs are perfectly cooked in the oven and come out juicy and tender, making this a great recipe for both special occasions and weeknight dinners alike.
Hello my friends. Today I want to share with you this baked chicken thighs recipe that you'll have ready in minutes with little effort. I chose to make it in the oven. The advantage is that unlike simply grilling it, in the oven the natural juices are mixed with the sauce, giving it a wonderful flavor.
Whether you're a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, you'll find that this recipe is easy to follow and produces consistently great results. So why not give it a try and see for yourself? Let's get started!
Baked Chicken Thigh Ingredients, Substitutions and Variations
One of the great things about this recipe is that it calls for simple and accessible ingredients that you may already have in your pantry or refrigerator. However, if you need to make substitutions or variations, here are a few ideas:
- Chicken thighs: If you prefer, you can use bone-in chicken breasts or drumsticks instead of chicken thighs. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as thicker cuts of meat may require more time in the oven.
- Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is the best option, but you can also use bottled lemon juice in a pinch.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Any neutral-flavored oil such as vegetable or canola oil can be used instead of extra virgin olive oil.
- Thyme: If you don't have dried thyme, you can use other herbs such as rosemary, oregano, or even a poultry seasoning blend.
- Honey: Use pure honey to get the best flavor. If you don't have honey, maple syrup or agave nectar can also work.
- Dijon mustard: Grainy mustard or whole grain mustard can be used instead of dijon mustard.
- Shallots: If you don't have shallots, you can use diced onions or scallions instead.
By making small substitutions or variations to fit your preferences and what you have on hand, you can create a dish that's uniquely your own.
Instruction Tips for Making the Best Baked Chicken Thighs in Sauce
Let's move on to the instruction tips and learn how to make this delicious recipe.
- Preheat your oven: Preheating your oven is an essential step in making this dish. Make sure to preheat your oven to 370 F before you start cooking. This will ensure that your chicken cooks evenly and comes out perfectly.
- Season the chicken: Before searing the chicken, make sure to season it with salt and pepper. This will help to develop the flavor of the chicken and make it more delicious.
- Sear the chicken: Searing the chicken in a frying pan before baking it is an important step in developing the flavor of the dish. Make sure to get a nice brown color on both sides of the chicken when you're searing it. This will add depth of flavor and texture to the dish.
- Mix the sauce well: When you're mixing the lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, shallots, honey, and mustard together, make sure to mix them well. This will ensure that the flavors are evenly distributed throughout the dish.
- Coat the chicken evenly: Once you've poured the mixture over the chicken, make sure to distribute it evenly to ensure that all of the chicken is coated in the mixture. This will help to ensure that each bite of chicken is flavorful and delicious.
Like this recipe so far? Be first to know when we release new ones!
Chicken Thigh Recipe Tips and Variations
- Add vegetables: To make this recipe even more nutritious and flavorful, try adding some vegetables to the baking dish. Carrots, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts all go well with the honey mustard sauce and can be roasted along with the chicken. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time for the vegetables as needed.
- Make it spicier: If you like a bit of heat, try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the honey mustard sauce. This will give the dish a nice kick of spice that pairs well with the tangy sauce.
- Double the recipe: This recipe can easily be doubled to feed a larger crowd or to have leftovers for the next day. Simply use a larger baking dish and adjust the ingredients accordingly. You’ll see the “2x” option in the recipe card below.
- Serve with a side: To make a complete meal, serve the baked chicken thighs with a side of steamed vegetables, rice, or mashed potatoes. This will round out the meal and make it even more satisfying.
By customizing the recipe to your liking and using these helpful tips and variations, you can make this baked chicken thighs in sauce a go-to dish in your recipe collection.
Unique Side Dishes to Serve with Baked Chicken Thighs
Baked chicken thighs in honey mustard lemon sauce is a delicious and flavorful main dish that can be paired with a variety of side dishes. We’ve already mentioned steamed veggies, rice, and mashed potatoes. Here are some unique and tasty options that can complement the flavors of the chicken:
- Roasted sweet potatoes: Roasted sweet potatoes are a perfect side dish for this recipe, as the natural sweetness of the potatoes pairs well with the honey mustard sauce. Simply dice the sweet potatoes into small cubes, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in the oven until tender.
- Grilled asparagus: Grilled asparagus is a healthy and flavorful side that can be quickly prepared on the grill. Simply season the asparagus with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and grill until tender and lightly charred.
- Quinoa pilaf: A hearty and nutritious side dish, made with quinoa, vegetables, and herbs, can add texture and flavor to the meal.
- Cauliflower mash: A low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes, cauliflower mash is a creamy and delicious accompaniment that can be seasoned with herbs, garlic, or cheese.
Here are a few more side dish options for you:
- Potato Gratin
- Mushroom Stuffing
- Spanish Style Baked Potato
- Heirloom Tomato Salad
- Santa Fe Salad Dressing on a rainbow salad
- Fennel Cucumber & Celery Slaw
These side dishes can add variety and nutrition to your meal while complementing the flavors of the chicken thighs in sauce. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to find the side dishes that work best for your taste preferences.
What other sauces are best for cooking chicken?
There are many sauces that work well with chicken, depending on your taste preferences and the type of dish you're making. Here are some popular options:
- Tomato-based sauces: Tomato-based sauces, such as marinara, tomato paste, or salsa, are great for adding bold flavor to chicken dishes. They work well in casseroles, pasta dishes, and with grilled or baked chicken.
- Cream-based sauces: Cream-based sauces, such as alfredo, béchamel, or mushroom cream sauce, can add richness and depth of flavor to chicken dishes. They work well with pasta, chicken pot pie, or with roasted or sautéed chicken breasts.
- Teriyaki sauce: Teriyaki sauce is a sweet and savory sauce that's made with soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and other seasonings. It's great for stir-fries, grilled or baked chicken, and as a glaze for chicken wings or drumsticks.
- BBQ sauce: BBQ sauce is a tangy and sweet sauce that's great for grilling, roasting, or baking chicken. It works well as a glaze or marinade and can be used in a variety of dishes, such as pulled chicken sandwiches or BBQ chicken pizza.
- Pesto sauce: Pesto is a bright and flavorful sauce that's made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. It's great for pasta dishes, sandwiches, or as a topping for grilled or baked chicken.
These are just a few examples of the many sauces that can be used to cook chicken. It's important to experiment with different sauces and seasonings to find the ones that work best for your taste preferences and the type of dish you're making.
Remaining Questions You May Have Before Preparing This Recipe
Yes, you can use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time as needed, as chicken breasts may take longer to cook through than chicken thighs.
Yes, you can use boneless chicken thighs or breasts instead of bone-in chicken. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
It's generally not recommended to put raw chicken in a sauce and cook it, as this can lead to food safety concerns. When raw chicken comes into contact with the sauce, there is a risk of cross-contamination and the transfer of harmful bacteria, such as salmonella or campylobacter, from the chicken to the sauce.
To ensure that the chicken is cooked to a safe temperature and to prevent foodborne illness, it's best to sear the chicken first and then add it to the sauce to finish cooking in the oven to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). This will also help to develop a nice crust on the chicken and add more depth of flavor to the dish.
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time. You can prepare the chicken and sauce and store them separately in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you're ready to cook, simply pour the sauce over the chicken and bake as directed.
Yes, you can freeze the baked chicken thighs. Let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container or freezer bag. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
By answering these frequently asked questions, you now have all the information you need to confidently make this baked chicken thigh in sauce recipe. Enjoy your meal!
To wrap it up (yea finally, right?), baked chicken thighs in honey mustard lemon sauce is a delicious and flavorful dish that is easy to prepare and perfect for a variety of occasions. The combination of sweet and tangy honey mustard sauce, paired with juicy and tender chicken thighs, makes for a satisfying and comforting meal. With a few simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, this recipe is a great option for busy weeknights or for entertaining guests.
We also discussed some of the potential substitutions and variations you can make to the recipe, such as using chicken breasts or drumsticks, adjusting the amount of honey or mustard to suit your taste, and adding other herbs and spices to the sauce. Additionally, we highlighted some unique and tasty side dishes that can complement the flavors of the chicken and add variety to the meal.
Overall, baked chicken thighs is a versatile and delicious recipe that can be customized to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. With the tips and suggestions provided above, we hope you can confidently prepare this recipe and enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal with your loved ones.
Tell us in the comments below if you made this recipe as-is, or if you used any of the substitution suggestions. Please share this recipe with your friends and followers including tagging @Spoonabilities on Instagram or comment on this Pin. Much appreciated!
Your Recipe Concierge!
Looking for some more Chicken Recipes?
Here are a few related recipe ideas you might enjoy: