- The Washington Times - Monday, April 11, 2005

Although chicken thighs are higher in fat than other chicken cuts, you can easily minimize that and get the benefit of their full-flavored, juicy meat, according to a feature in the April-May issue of EatingWell magazine.

Food writer Victoria Abbott Riccardi has created half a dozen recipes for the ever-versatile chicken, and among them is this simply succulent and very low-fat dish using chicken thighs. “Consisting primarily of richer dark meat,” she writes, “they are exceeding tender and flavorful.”

To minimize the fat, be sure to remove the skin and trim the thighs thoroughly. For quick cooking, choose boneless, skinless thighs. When slow-cooking, as in braising, bone-in thighs work best because they will retain their moisture better. Two 2- to 3-ounce boneless thighs yield a 3-ounce cooked portion.

In this Turkish-influenced dish, the acidity of the yogurt helps tenderize the chicken and keep it moist. If you can’t find hot paprika, substitute 2 teaspoons sweet paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne.

Turkish chicken thighs

The preparation time is 10 minutes; the time from start to finish is 1½ hours.

8 bone-in chicken thighs (about 3½ pounds total), skin removed, trimmed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup low-fat plain yogurt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons hot paprika

1½ teaspoons dried mint

½ teaspoon salt

Place chicken in large bowl. Add lemon juice, and toss to coat. Whisk yogurt, garlic, ginger, paprika, mint and salt in a separate bowl. Pour the yogurt mixture over the chicken, and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.

Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard marinade). Place the chicken on a broiler rack and broil until browned on top, about 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake until the chicken is juicy and just cooked through, about 15 minutes longer. (Thigh meat will appear dark pink, even when cooked through.) Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 138 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated), 82 mg cholesterol, 3 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein, 0 g fiber, 251 mg sodium.

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