There’s nothing particularly brilliant about this recipe—except that it’s easy to pull together and is immensely satisfying. This simple recipe takes almost no time to make and highlights the often-misunderstood chicken thigh, which has far more character and flavor than a lean breast. Don’t skimp on the butter. We’re cooking dinner, not making a salad. While the chicken bakes, chill the Chardonnay and pick out something on Netflix.
For the chicken
8 chicken thighs
Cracked black pepper
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup white wine
8 fresh thyme sprigs, divided
For the potatoes
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
For the asparagus
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed of woody ends
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the thighs in a casserole dish and season with salt and pepper (both sides). Slip 2 to 3 cubes of butter underneath the skin of each thigh. Bake until the skin is crispy and golden, about 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until very soft, 15-20 minutes. Drain all of the water and mash. In a separate saucepan, combine the heavy whipping cream with the minced garlic, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer over medium heat until the liquid smells as garlicky as you want the potatoes to taste. Gradually add to the potatoes while whipping with an electric mixer. Salt to taste, if needed.
Blanch the asparagus in boiling, salted water until they turn bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add asparagus and sauté quickly until tender-crisp, about 2-4 minutes, depending on thickness of the asparagus.
When the chicken is ready, pour any liquid from the casserole dish into a separate saucepan set over medium heat. Add wine and 4 thyme sprigs and simmer until reduced, about 5 minutes.
Spoon potatoes on each plate and place two thighs on top along with some asparagus spears. Spoon sauce over the chicken and garnish with thyme sprigs.
Makes 4 servings