Kale & Mozzarella Baked Chicken Thighs

This right here?  The ultimate dinner done easy.

I’ve been running around here, there, and pretty much anywhere but my kitchen, so when I finally remembered that I have this thing called an oven that I use for a blog where I talk about how amazing I am uhh… food, I figured I was well overdue for a recipe.

So this right here?  It’s my way of saying hey!  I like you – Here’s something delicious you should totally be eating.

(it’s what any amazing person would make)

A few weeks back I shared on Instagram the ginormous shipment I received from the lovely folks at Perdue, and this little dish right here comes straight from that.  I’ve talked about my love of Perdue products before, but I’ll casually re-emphasize that their chicken is my go-to poultry every time.  Their latest product line – Perfect Portions – might be the best thing I’ve had from them yet, because just when I thought they couldn’t make cooking any easier, they did.  The chicken thighs that I used here are filleted off the bone, skinless, and stored in vacuum sealed pouches that are ready when you are.  That means they’re quick to make, packed with high protein nutrition, and perfect for a rustic recipe like this.

Also – Cheese.  It’s been awhile since we lamented my love of chee.

These thighs are wonderfully juicy and tender, so they really don’t need many bells and whistles.  Dave and I have had them a few times simply sautéed in a skillet with a dash of EVOO, but I figured that wasn’t much of a recipe to impress.  So I amped up this basic cooking strategy by incorporating some onions and kale along with a slathering of sharp and smooth cheese, and the results knocked my freakin’ flip flops off.

The star of this recipe is clearly the thighs, but the kale and cheese blend are the perfect complement.  I quickly sautéed my kale with onions, garlic, EVOO, and lemon juice, which is my favorite way to tone down kale’s bitterness.  My cheese choices were asiago (sharp) and mozzarella (smooth), but feel free to simply double down on the mozz or swap the asiago for another sharp pairing like pecorino or parmesan – Just follow your inner chee.  And best of all?  This baby is achieved all in one skillet, with a little time on the stove, a little more time in the oven, and a whole lotta time not slaving away in your kitchen.

And those thighs?  Those thighs!  They crisped perfectly on the outside, stayed incredibly tender on the inside, and were still delicious three days later when I reheated them in the microwave.

That is, of course, if you have any leftovers to begin with.

Kale & Mozzarella Baked Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Perdue Perfect Portions Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 8 oz Chopped Kale – approx.
  • 1 cup Shredded Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 cup Shredded Asiago (or Pecorino/Parmesan)
  • 1 cup Diced Yellow Onion
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil {divided}
  • 2-3 tbsps Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsps Minced Garlic
  • 3/4 tsp Sea Salt & Coarse Black Peppercorn – approx.

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.  Next, remove four chicken thighs from packaging, then generously season with salt and pepper on either side.
  2. In large skillet toss garlic in 2 tbsps EVOO over medium-high flame for 2-3 minutes.  Next stir in onions, then lower flame to medium before adding in kale a few handfuls at a time, combining with lemon juice as you do.  Toss kale until just beginning to sauté, then season to taste with salt and pepper before removing from heat.
  3. Gently stir asiago into kale mixture, then top with seasoned chicken thighs.  Sprinkle mozzarella over chicken and kale, then drizzle all ingredients with remaining 2 tbsps EVOO.  Place skillet in oven middle rack and bake for 25 minutes, then broil for 5-7 minutes more until chicken thighs have crisped and browned.  Allow to cool slightly, then immediately plate and serve.

*I was compensated for this post as part of my participation in the Perdue “Perfect Portions” Campaign.  All opinions expressed are my own.

so much yes right here.