A couple of weeks ago I was reorganising my bookshelf. Since we have some extra space in the kitchen we decided to free up some space on our regular shelf and move some cookbooks to a smaller book cum knick knack shelf. The joy of rediscovering some old cookbooks was something else. My lil boy who is as passionate about cookbooks as I am sat with me flipping through endless recipes. He grabbed some sticky notes to bookmark the ones he wanted me to make over the next few days. A bacon enthusiast and a picky eater rolled into one, the fellow loves to ogle at food pictures. He is the first to pick our weekly, glossy magazine that accompanies the newspaper on Friday mornings and flip through the recipe section of the book. He believes that he was born with a continental palate (seriously, kids these days have taste buds with a mind of their own - I know this sounds complex, but that's how it is). So when he sees something that looks mouthwatering off he goes to add it on his 'list of things to drive mommy crazy about'. Anyway, so when we found this recipe he coaxed me into making it for him. Daddy brought home the bacon (literally and actually made an announcement about it) and mom set about to cook chicken thighs wrapped with bacon - a fun project for mother & son on a cosy, dull Friday morning.
Now since all that shines isn't gold, the recipe looked simple but had a list of ingredients that would be too bland for our palates so I twisted and tweaked it a lot and bumped up the spice to 'Indianize' (or should I say 'Mangaloreanize') it a bit. Since this recipe was pretty simple (and I love roasting meats) I went on to make a couple of other recipes all of which were successful and a lovely combination of flavours. I will post those recipes in the next couple of weeks so do stay tuned!
Back to this recipe, these chicken thighs are pretty easy to put together and can be made ahead of time. They make for a quick and tasty weekend meal or even as a fancy dish on your party/festive lunch or dinner menu. It is important to marinate them for at least 2-3 hours, overnight for best results. Considering that it is wrapped with bacon you will get a lot of fat oozing out which helps the cooking process so you can actually skip the olive oil in the marinade. This is definitely not for the health conscious but you could try making it with turkey bacon if you can find some. If you do give it a try drop me a line at email@example.com and let me know how it turned out!
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Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs
Prep time: 15 mins | Marinating time: 1-2 hours or overnight | Roasting time: 45 mins | Serves 4
For the marinade:
- 1 kg chicken thighs, with skin on (approx 11-12 thighs without the drumsticks)
- bacon rashers/streaky bacon (one or two per thigh, depending on the length of the rashers) * see notes
- chopped dill or coriander to garnish
- zest and juice of 1 medium sized orange
- zest and juice of 1 lime or lemon
- 4-5 fat cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons plain red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano (or any dried herb)
- salt to taste (add moderately as the bacon is salty too)
1. Wash and drain the chicken thighs. Pat dry. Wrap each piece with one or two bacon rashers to form a criss-cross pattern. Secure the ends with a toothpick. Place them in an oven-proof dish.
2. Mix all the ingredients mentioned under 'For the marinade
' and dip each bacon wrapped piece of chicken in it thoroughly and return it to the baking dish. Pour any remaining marinade over the pieces. Sprinkle chopped herbs, cover with cling wrap and keep aside for at least 1-2 hours or overnight for best results.
3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C and bake for 18-20 minutes per side. Poke with a fork to check if the meat is tender. Pour the sauce over the pieces as you go. Then place the pieces with the criss-cross facing up, change the oven setting to 'grill' mode and let the top brown for 2-3 minutes before removing.
4. Remove the toothpicks and serve hot with roasted baby potatoes, mashed potatoes or rice on the side.
1. You can use turkey bacon if the regular variety is unavailable. Most bacon rashers are long enough to help wrap the chicken thigh in a criss cross manner
2. Preferably use chicken thighs with the skin on as it keeps the chicken juicy.
3. Bacon is available at Waitrose (The Dubai Mall), Spinney's and West Zone supermarkets. You can buy Turkey bacon from Carrefour (Mall of the Emirates, Mirdiff City Centre)
Recipe adapted from The Complete Creative Cookbook