Chicken thighs and I have had a rocky relationship throughout the years. My mom always avoided them in favor of the leaner breast meat, and because she shied away from them, I thought that there was something inherently unappetizing about thighs. I avoided them at all costs, up until my twenties when I realized that so many recipes that I was eager to try called for dark meat. Thighs were purported to be jucier and more flavorful, and they were absolutely less expensive, so I decided to take a leap of faith and give them a try. And guess what? That decision has resulted in some of my all-time favorite recipes.
And then there’s this dish of Balsamic-Red Wine Roasted Chicken Thighs and Vegetables, with its sweet and tangy-glazed, crisp-skinned, rosemary-seasoned chicken. The juices that are released from the thighs as they roast are absorbed by a mixture of potatoes, brussels sprouts, red onion, and whole garlic cloves to create an absolutely to-die-for dish. I mean, if there ever was a way to show off how amazing chicken thighs are, this is it. I guess I’ll have to make it for my mom next time!
Did I mention that this recipe is extremely easy to make?
First, I toss the vegetables with olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper. I layer them in a large baking dish (or on a baking sheet), and then place the chicken thighs on top, with a bit more seasoning. I stick the dish in the oven to roast until the chicken skins get nice and golden, and as I wait, I make a super simple reduction by heating balsamic vinegar, red wine, and brown sugar until it thickens. I drizzle and brush the reduction over the chicken thighs (and drizzle some more over the vegetables), and then I bake it again until the reduction glazes over. Voila! A whole, delicious, rounded, and impressive meal in just a few steps.
It seems like it should be a lot harder than that, right? I’m always shocked when a recipe that comes together with very little fuss turns out so fancy and full of flavor. Balsamic-Red Wine Roasted Chicken Thighs and Vegetables is absolutely a recipe worthy of date-night (if you don’t mind a little garlic-breath), although I’d scale it down by half if I was only cooking for two. It’s also easy to sub in veggies of choice, so if I lost you at brussels sprouts, come on back in and mix things up to your liking.
Just make sure you spoon some of that sauce over top of each plate you serve up (YUM), and don’t forget to take a picture and tag #hostthetoast on Instagram or Twitter to show off what you’re eating. I can’t wait to check it out!
- 1.5 pounds mini red potatoes, cut into eights
- 8 ounces brussels sprouts, halved
- 1 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges
- 1 bulb garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary, roughly chopped, divided
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 6 chicken thighs (about 2 – 2.5 pounds)
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a medium-sized bowl, toss the potatoes, brussels sprouts, red onion, and garlic with the olive oil and half of the rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large baking dish or baking sheet. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and place on top of the vegetable mixture. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and top with the remaining rosemary.
- Bake until the potatoes are fork-tender and the chicken skin is golden and crisp, about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the balsamic vinegar, red wine, and brown sugar in a pan over medium heat. Keep at a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half and syrupy. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once the chicken and vegetables have roasted, brush the chicken generously with the balsamic-red wine reduction, and drizzle what remains over the vegetables. Return to the oven and cook until glazed, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
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