Honey Pecan Chicken Thighs

There are recipes you make for yourself; there are recipes you make for you and your significant other; and there are recipes you make when family is coming over. These recipes vary in their difficulty, adventure-factor, and everybody-will-eat-this factor, too. Chicken is one ingredient that often pleases the most picky eater, and if you don't make it too "fancy" it's likely to be a food that everyone will ask for seconds on, too. These Honey-Pecan Chicken thighs fit the bill.

I knew I was cooking for me and Brad. And later my grandfather was added to that list. And then my sister Emily was included, and a short time later her boyfriend, Rob, was added, too. A full house! Thank goodness I bought a bigger pack of chicken than my grocery list called for, but I like to cook for other people - especially when it's family, because is there anything more special than having your family around the dinner table? We sat in the same kitchen my family has been sitting in for more than 60 years now, albeit on a different table, but a table that was passed down to me nonetheless.

It was a simple, Southern meal, really. Chicken, squash and biscuits. An old-fashioned dessert followed. There was of course sweet tea (and water for people like me who can't handle caffeine after, say, 8 a.m.) Everybody was satisfied - heart and body. The kitchen wasn't too much of a mess (don't you love baked chicken dishes for this reason?) And it was one more simple memory for the heart.

If only every day could be so sweet and easy.

Honey-Pecan Chicken Thighs (Printer-friendly version here)
MyRecipes - Southern Living, May 2002

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
8 skinned and boned chicken thighs
3/4 cup honey, divided
3/4 cup Dijon mustard, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Garnish: Italian parsley sprigs

1.) Combine first 4 ingredients; sprinkle evenly over chicken in a shallow dish. Stir together 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup mustard, and garlic; pour over chicken. Cover and chill 2 hours.

2.) Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Dredge chicken in pecans; place on a lightly greased rack in an aluminum foil-lined broiler pan.

3.) Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until chicken is done.

4.) Stir together remaining 1/4 cup honey, remaining 1/4 cup mustard, and curry powder; serve sauce with chicken. Garnish if desired.