Recipe: Roast Chicken Thighs with Beets and Greens

Post by Olivia Blodgett, Registered Dietitian

I recently had a personal chef client ask me if I ever prepare meat. The answer is yes, I sometimes do. Meat was a rareity in my household until more recently when I discovered that my daughter enjoys eating it. Given that she can be somewhat of a picky eater, I get pretty excited about any food that is a “yes” so here we are, increasing our meat consumption as many people are now working to decrease theirs.

I don’t inherently have any issues with meat, I firmly believe all foods can be involved in a healthy diet and that it is up to the individual to decide which foods they want to include or limit. Overall dietary patterns are most important and no single food will directly cause any health problem. I tend towards a plant based diet because to me, that means eating a lot of vegetables, which are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and bioactive compounds. These components serve as protection against chronic diseases and promote overall health. Meat, in particular poor quality meat, can be pro-inflammatory, increasing the risk for those same diseases. And to add to my decision making, I simply just don’t really like meat or preparing it.

In a nutshell, my preference with meat is to keep it to a minimum in order to keep consumption of plant foods high and to always go with organic and high quality. Yes, this results in a higher grocery bill, which is another reason I tend to only prepare meat once or twice a week. Lastly, when meat is in the picture, vegetables are still abundant. Meat is not the center of the meal, yet another component of it.

Anyways, you are probably really just here for the recipe, so here it is!

Roast Chicken Thighs with Beets an Greens

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
  • 2 beets, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 4 cups beet greens or kale, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Preparation

Start by sautéing your chicken thighs in a bit of olive oil (skin-side down to start), until it’s just golden , and the skin is crispy. An oven-safe dish is also the best option for this.

Next, flip the chicken over, and cook it briefly on the other side, then remove the chicken from the pan.

Sautée sliced onions until they are translucent, then add peeled beet wedges, along with the garlic cloves to your pan, and continue to cook until everything just begins to caramelize.

When the vegetables are caramelized deglaze the pan with white wine, and chicken stock. Reduce it until there’s about 1/4 inch of liquid in the pan (this will reduce further during the baking process), then remove the pan from the heat.

Add your chicken back to the pan, along with chopped kale, rosemary, and thyme (place the chicken on top of everything else). Season everything with salt, pepper, and cumin, balsamic vinegar, a drizzle of lemon juice, then bake at 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.

When the chicken is done, drizzle a bit more lemon juice over everything, serve and enjoy.

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