One night, a few months ago, just when I started shooting almost every meal I made for this here site, my friend came to dinner.
She is a lovely tiny woman. But she can eat. Which is just the kind of friends I love to have. When she arrived, I realized I hadn’t come up with a main dish. There were some chicken thighs in the fridge, so I started there. As I thought about what else I had in the house, I came across some fresh oregano and sherry vinegar. The recipe began to form in my head, all I needed was some lemon and a bit of honey and we were off and cooking.
It’s a simple affair, if a little messy. I started by heating a pan to super hot, added some oil and salt and put the chicken thighs in skin side down. The fat splatters, so be ready for a little bit of cleanup. The extra step of searing these on the stove top before baking them makes the skin come out super crisp and delicious.
The key to this dish is the combination of the honey, sherry vinegar and oregano. You add these just before the chicken goes into a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes. And let me tell you, the chicken comes out moist, a little sweet, and very tender. I served it with some roasted brussels sprouts and a quinoa salad. Most delicious.
This past weekend, I found myself with some chicken thighs and recreated the dish for my daughter. She ate two pieces and asked that I save the others for her dinner the next night. A hit, if I do say so myself, and a dish that is so quick to make, I can do it on a weeknight while helping with homework.
So if you are asked “Chicken, honey?” I hope that you respond “Sure, but it’s Honey Chicken.”
Honey Chicken with Oregano and Sherry Vinegar
makes 4 portions
- 4 Chicken thighs, skin-on and with bones
- 4 Tbsps Olive Oil
- A pinch of Salt
- 3 sprigs fresh Oregano (or 1 tsp Dried Oregano)
- 3/4 cup Sherry Vinegar (Red Wine Vinegar works here, or just some leftover White Wine is good, too)
- 2 Tbsps Honey (I like the dark amber kind)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Heat up a large non-reactive skillet over high heat.
- Put the olive oil and salt in the pan once it is super hot (technical term).
- Place the chicken thighs in the pan, skin-side down.
- Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the skin starts to curl up on the edges.
- Turn the thighs over. Cook for 1 minute more.
- Turn off the heat. Add the sherry vinegar.
- Turn the heat back on and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the honey, turn off the heat and put the pan in the preheated oven.
- Bake on the top rack of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken juice runs clear.
- Remove from the oven, let rest for 5 minutes, and then dig in.