Here's one of my go-to weekday meals, called Baked Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs. It's easy and delicious and takes only five ingredients: Dijon mustard, maple syrup, rice vinegar, dried or fresh rosemary, and chicken. Its maple mustard goodness is something the entire family will enjoy.
This easy recipe for maple chicken thighs calls for only 5 ingredients. Here are 4 of them; the other is rosemary (not pictured).
All you have to do is mix the three liquid ingredients in a small bowl, using a spoon or whisk until well incorporated. Then pour the mustard sauce over the chicken and cook it in the oven. When finished, you can sprinkle a bit of fresh or dried rosemary over the top of the maple mustard chicken for added color and flavor.
While I'm at it, I'll mention that this combination makes an excellent mustard sauce for pork as well!
Rice Vinegar or Rice Wine Vinegar?
If you've never used rice vinegar, you can find it in the international foods section of your super market. Mine says "rice vinegar" but you may also see "rice wine vinegar". They're the same thing. However, don't just get "rice wine" or you'll lose the acidic vinegar taste.
I use skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, but this would work with chicken breasts as well. And there's no reason it couldn't work on boneless chicken; you just might need to increase the cooking time. Chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you test the chicken close to the bone if you're using bone-in thighs or breasts, as that's the spot likely to be the coolest.
Quick and Easy Dinner
I find that one of the most time-consuming parts of cooking is gathering all the ingredients. For an easy recipe like this, with only five ingredients, it's easy to shop for, and easy to pull the items from my pantry and refrigerator when it's time to cook. If you don't have fresh rosemary you can even use dried rosemary your spice cabinet and it works just fine.
It also means easier cleanup, since there's fewer ingredients to put away!
Although you can brown the chicken on the stovetop before baking, it's optional. Leaving that out still gives you a delicious meal and it's one less step. You can decide if that small extra step is worth the effort; either way the baked chicken tastes delicious.
And voila! You have a healthy and yummy meal for your family:
This goes great with almost any vegetable, whether you grill asparagus or just open a can of French-cut green beans. It's also nice with buttered noodles, or just plain rice to soak up the delicious sauce. Add a side salad for a more complete and healthy meal.
Baked Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs
- ½ cup dijon mustard
- ¼ cup real maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1.5 pounds chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary fresh
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil optional (see step 5)
- Preheat oven to 450º F
- Mix mustard, syrup, and vinegar together in a small bowl to make the sauce.
- Sprinkle chicken thighs with salt and pepper
- Optional: if using skin-on chicken, you can brown it in a skillet in 2 tablespoons olive oil, about 3-4 minutes each side.
- Place chicken thighs in a glass baking / casserole dish and pour maple dijon sauce over chicken. Turn each piece in the sauce to coat it on all sides.
- Cook for 40 minutes.
- Sprinkle with fresh rosemary before serving.