Sweet pear rosemary glazed chicken thighs over quinoa
Come November, I'm in a phase where I like to cook meat dishes in the oven. If it's in a sauce or with an incredible blend of seasonings, it's even more up my alley. In warmer weather, my default is a quick, light protein option where the seasonings are usually fresh herbs or neighboring produce. But again, it's November and here I am cooking beef veggie stews and opting for bone in, skin on chicken. Hibernation Carlene is a fan of constant oven cooking.
I don't remember when it happened, but the rallying cry in the nutrition world used to be acceptance of only boneless, skinless chicken breasts. On many food blogs and in cookbooks, sadly it's more of the same. But the fact of the matter is, bone in and skin on chicken thighs are kind of beautiful. They're incredibly flavorful, and juicy (and also less expensive than their counterparts). Sometimes crispy chicken skin is worth it. Embrace it.
To add an additional layer of flavor to chicken thighs I baked them and brushed them in a pear rosemary glaze. The great thing about this method is you are using one sauce, two times. Once as an unstrained base for baking the chicken, and another time as a finishing glaze after broiling for the crispy skin. It also does wonders for quinoa.
As pear season rolls in, I remember constantly looking for new pear recipes to deal with the harvest from my Grandparents' pear tree. Some years you had a mild pear harvest, possibly related to squirrel feasting, and you were happy to eat them plain or in a pear crisp. But other years you hit thepear jackpot, and no amount of squirrel interference could lighten the load. Those were the years you made a ton of pear sauce (like apple sauce) to freeze. Or you lugged pears around in your car to bring to, I don't know...let's say the bank and the post office (true story). Or maybe to mail to your college aged granddaughter while you lied to the same post office that no, you did not have anything perishable, questionable in that large box you were mailing.
And so we make pear glaze. While this recipe uses small forelle pears (tangy and sweet), you can absolutely swap in other pears you might have on hand. With the pureed pears, you'll also add lemon, fresh rosemary and honey with salt and pepper. The pears will add a nice body to the base sauce (which will then become a glaze with two extra steps) while the rosemary adds an unexpected and very cozy woodsy aroma. Perfect for an oven session.
Honey Pear Glazed Chicken Thighs with Quinoa
Entrée: Serves 4 // 1 hour
/// Ingredients ///
- 2 small forelle pears, 1 1/2 cup chopped, seeds removed
- 1/3 cup water
- 4 Tablespoons clover or wild flower honey
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- a few grinds of black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
- 2 pounds bone in skin on chicken thighs
- 1 cup quinoa, dry
- 2 cup chicken stock
/// Directions ///
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Cut pear and add to a small pot with a lid with water over medium high heat. Cover for 7-10 minutes, cooking until soft. Puree pears and add an extra 1/8- 1/4 cup water as needed to blend fully. This should create about 1 cup of pear puree. Add to a bowl with lemon juice, rosemary, honey and salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
Reserve 1/2 cup of mixed sauce and set aside.
In a small casserole dish, place chicken thighs skin up. Pat dry. Pour pear puree over top and around thighs. Bake for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Broil until skins brown and crisp.
While chicken is baking, strain the reserved 1/2 cup of pear puree mix through a fine mesh sieve. Discard solids. Add strained mix to a small pan on the stove over medium heat and simmer 5-8 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
Rinse the dry quinoa in a fine mesh sieve to remove bitter coating. Add to a pan with chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer on low and cover for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff quinoa with a fork.
Once chicken is removed from oven, brush pear glaze over each thigh. Serve over quinoa. Garnish with additional rosemary and serve with extra sauce.
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.