Mahogany Chicken Thighs, Part 2

September 16, 2014

The second try definitely worked out better. While my plan had been to use low-sodium soy sauce, on my way home from the supermarket I realized that I had forgotten to buy it. So I reduced the soy sauce (and therefore the saltiness) by 1/3 cup. The flavors were much more robust when not masked by the extreme saltiness of my first attempt.  Also, I broiled the chicken for just 2 minutes (in Step 8) until the chicken was lightly browned. Even though the chicken was far from the broiler element, it is still amazing how fast this 195-degree chicken will crisp up. This attempt earns a solid 4-stars; flavorful and balanced, easy to make.

Better than the first time

Better than the first time

BTW – Chris Kimball recommends serving this with steamed rice, but because my son had a friend over who loves potatoes, I served it with mashed potatoes. The kids gave the recipe as high as 4-1/2 stars.


  1. Chris Kimball reminds us to trim all visible fat and skin from the underside of the chicken. Tonight I am going to use a combination of thighs and drumsticks, so I’m not sure how I will trim the drumsticks,

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $5
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:00 PM. Dinner time 6:30 PM

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below:

1-1/2 cups water
2/3 cup soy sauce (or 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce)
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
4-lbs bone-in chicken thighs
2″ ginger piece
6 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon cornstarch

  1. Set a rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 300-degrees. Trim away any skin and excess fat from the bottom of the thighs.
  2. In an oven-safe 12″ skillet, whisk together 1 cup water, 3/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sherry, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons molasses, and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Arrange chicken with the skin side down in skillet and soy sauce mixture.  Peel ginger, cut in half and smash. Peel the garlic cloves and smash.
    Nestle the ginger and garlic between the chicken pieces.
  3. Put over medium burner and bring the liquid up to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, then put the skillet into the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Flip chicken skin-side up and continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken reaches 195-degrees. Remove chicken to serving platter.
  5. Pour cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a fat separator. Allow to settle for 5 minutes. Turn over to broil.
  6. In a separate small bowl, whisk corn starch together with 1/2 cup water.
  7. Pour 1 cup of the de-fatted juices into the skillet and bring up to a simmer over medium burner. Whisk in water/corn starch and simmer for 1 minute, until thickened. Pour sauce into serving bowl and set aside.
  8. Put chicken back into skillet and broil for 3 to 4 minutes until well browned. Return chicken to serving platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving; passing the sauce separately.

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