Chef Tom – Thighs Matter

Juicy, succulent, flavorful, and forgiving. What more can you ask for. Wanna feed the family on the cheap, or the self for the week? Here are three dead-simple recipes that pack a lot of flavor and some good nutrition.

Chicken with Charred-Rosemary Vinaigrette

Chicken with Charred-Rosemary Vinaigrette

Serves 6

4 4 inch rosemary sprigs

3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt


6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

1 package frozen artichoke heart quarters (10 ounce) thawed

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup drained capers

Preheat the oven to 375°. Roast 2 of the rosemary sprigs directly on the oven rack for 5 minutes, until charred. Leave the oven on. Strip off the leaves, then finely crush them; discard the stems. In a small bowl, whisk the leaves with the vinegar, mustard and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook skin side down over moderately high heat, turning once, until well browned, 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet. Stir in the artichokes, tomatoes, caperberries and the remaining rosemary sprigs. Top with the chicken and roast for 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the chicken registers 165°. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve, passing more vinaigrette at the table.

Sheet-Pan Cumin Chicken Thighs with Squash, Fennel, and Grapes

Sheet-Pan Chicken Dinner

Serves a hungry 4

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 acorn or delicata squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/4″ half moons

2 fennel bulbs (about 1/2 pound), fronds trimmed off, cut in half lengthwise, sliced into 1/4″ wedges with core intact

1 pound seedless red grapes (about 1 cup)

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)

1/2 cup torn fresh mint leaves

Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Mix brown sugar, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl. Toss squash, fennel, and grapes with oil and half of spice mixture on rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.

Rub chicken thighs with remaining spice mixture and arrange, skin side up, on top of fruit and vegetables. Roast until skin is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of chicken registers 165°F, about 35 minutes; if chicken skin or vegetables start to burn, move pan to a lower rack to finish cooking.

Divide chicken, fruit, and vegetables among 4 plates and top with mint.

Chicken Thighs with Roasted Apples and Garlic

Chicken, Apples, Garlic

Serves a hungry 4

5 cups chopped peeled (Braeburn) apple (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

Cooking spray

8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Chopped parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 475.

Combine first 5 ingredients. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss well to coat. Spread apple mixture on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray.

Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, and arrange on top of the apple mixture. Bake at 475 for 25 minutes or until chicken is done and apple is tender. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

Partially mash apple mixture with a potato masher, and serve with chicken. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.


Circle Back

Here is the latest from some of the artists I blogged about before.


Remember the Kanneh-Mason family of musical prodigies? Older brother Shaku has risen to worldwide fame as a gifted cellist. Here he is performing with his sister Isata, from their new album “The Muse.”

Rachmaninoff: 14 Romances, Op. 34 – No. 1, The Muse

The Other Favorites

You may recall our good friend and mega-talent Josh Turner? Josh is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer based in Brooklyn, New York. He’s best known for his YouTube channel Josh Turner Guitar, where he posts eclectic cover songs and original music since he started the channel in 2007 at age 15.

His guitar covers range from rock, R&B, bluegrass, folk, jazz, classical, pop, indie, blues, etc. Josh now tours internationally in support of his own original music, as well as with long-time collaborator Carson McKee, as the folk duo The Other Favorites. They are currently one a world tour and have a new album called UnAmericana.

Here’s one of my favorite cuts from their new album.

Have Mercy


Howzabout The Big Push? Still scrappy, still busking in Brighton, still fun to watch.

War Pigs!


Kitty, Daisy & Lewis. Still love these guys. If Amy Whitehouse was a trio. Here’s my favorite cover…that they do so well.

Described as “a gift to those of us who still believe in magic,” London sisters & brother Kitty, Daisy & Lewis Durham, an extraordinary trio of songwriters, can play any instrument they lay their hands on.

With sales of over a quarter of a million albums and sold out headline worldwide tours they have also opened for Coldplay, Mark Ronson, Stereophonics…Starting out young, they have inspired audiences and gathered an impressive fan base from Amy Winehouse (r.i.p.) to David Lynch.

Still love these guys and this, one of my favorites covers.

Goin Up Country


Chef Tom is currently transitioning from Personal Chef to Private Chef. He also teaches cooking classes, caters small parties and leads overseas culinary tours. His specialty for the last twelve years has been cooking for people with food allergies and sensitivities. His motto is “Food should give you pleasure, not pressure.”

Check him out at

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