Easy Baked Chicken Thighs with Olive and Wensleydale Crust
These super easy baked chicken thighs are posh enough for a date and easy enough for those weeknights where your brain never made it home from work.
I first started cooking with chicken thighs as a poor student, as they’re really good value. I still eat a lot of chicken leg meat as we prefer to buy free range, and free range breast meat can get very expensive. Eight years ago when I was living in a shared house I would remove the bones from the fillets myself and stuff them with sundried tomatoes and cheese for a frugal treat.
Now I’m working I can afford to buy boned chicken thighs, which are much harder stuff as they flop open during cooking. This time, I’ve embraced that and cooked them like open sandwiches, rather than stuffing them. The topping keeps the meat moist, and the slightly longer cooking time means they’re pull-apart tender and infused with the flavours of the topping.
Do you shop online? We always run late getting our order done and do it in a hurry. It was a case of my husband doing the order while I told him what ingredients I needed this week – and somehow the sundried tomatoes got missed off. I substituted with leftover olives and I have to say, it was a winner. I served it with a couscous pilaf made quickly while it was in the oven, but you could add your favourite vegetable side dish, or put some potato wedges in the oven before you prep the chicken.
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 3oz pitted black olives
- 100g wensleydale cheese
- A dash of olive oil
- A pinch each of pepper and garlic granules
- The juice of half a lemon
- 7 boneless chicken thigh fillets
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 7.
- Drain the olives and place them in a food processor with the cheese, olive oil, garlic, pepper and lemon juice. Whizz them until they are ground and well mixed.
- Spread the fillets out flat on an ovenproof dish with the inside facing up and the skin side facing the dish.
- Spread an equal amount of paste onto each fillet - this worked out at a couple of teaspoons per fillet. Spread it with your fingers to cover as much of the surface of the chicken as you can.
- Place the dish towards the top of the oven and cook for half an hour.