There are a number of keys to ongoing and regular happiness in the kitchen/cooking arena. Doing some prep work over the weekend, or whenever you have a spare hour to do yourself a favor is one key. Knowing how to make a pan sauce; another key. Having some favorite rubs and marinades in your arsenal – a very, very good key.
Having the foresight to toss some chicken or a steak or some blocks of tofu or what have you into a marinade before you go to sleep, or head out the door in the morning to start your day, means that:
- what’s for dinner is asked and answered
- a more deeply flavored meal is in the offing
- you have reduced your meal prep time substantially—all that left is the cooking part, and during that time you may sip wine and make a salad (and of course you already made your vinaigrette for the week, so in a perfect world it’s mostly the wine sipping part)
The most basic marinades have some fat and some acid and a seasoning or two involved. You don’t want to let certain foods sit in a marinade for too long (fish and seafood in particular, which can start to get mushy), especially if there is citrus juice or a heavily acidic balance to the mixture.
How long should different things marinate? Here’s a basic guide to start you off. These Thai Chicken Thighs should marinate for at least one day, and up to three.
This Thai Chicken Thighs recipe is an ode to my friend Katie Chin’s recipe for Thai chicken wings, and you could definitely decide to use them as a marinade for wings and roast those up.
The peanuts and cilantro are optional for a few reasons:
- You may not have peanuts lying around, or someone in your family might be allergic.
- Some folks really, really don’t like cilantro.
- I forgot to sprinkle them on for the photo, but I did remember to sprinkle them on the Thai Cucumber salad that is shown in some of these photos, so it sort of implies that I could remember to do this, only not reliably.
Thai Chicken Thighs
- 3 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
- 3 pounds chicken thighs
- ¼ cup crushed roasted peanuts optional
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves optional
- On a large container of gallon-sized heavy duty zipper top bag combine the shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and chili garlic sauce. Ad the chicken thighs and turn hem to coat well with the marinade. Refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken on the baking sheet skin side up and roast for about 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked all the way through, with an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the peanuts and cilantro if desired (I clearly forgot to do that in these photos. Oops).
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