Herb and Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Thighs
- 3/4 C. fresh breadcrumbs from a crusty bakery loaf
- 1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 C. asiago or provolone cheese
- 1/4 C. flat leaf Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbs. fresh rosemary, chopped fine
- 1 Tbs. fresh thyme, chopped fine
- 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (optional)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp. salt plus additional salt for finishing the thighs
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 8 boneless skin-on chicken thighs (about 4-5 oz. each)
Heat the oven to 450 degrees and adjust a rack to the center position. In a medium bowl combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, asiago, parsley, rosemary, thyme, optional zest, egg, salt and pepper and mix with your hands until well combined.
Place a chicken thigh skin side down on a work surface. Grab approximately1/4 C. stuffing and gently squeeze in the palm of your hand to form a cohesive cigar-shaped lump and place in the center of the thigh. Pull up the meat of either side and fasten with either a couple of lengths of kitchen string or a wooden skewer that has been cut in half. You should assemble the thighs so the elongated stuffing lump fits in the same general direction and space as the removed bone. Repeat with the remaining thighs and stuffing.
Place the stuffed thighs skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast until the thighs are crisp and golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reaches 165 degrees, 30-35 minutes.
If you have made the thighs ahead and are roasting them directly from the refrigerator you may need to allow for an extra five minutes or so. Let cool for five minutes, cut away the kitchen string or remove the skewers and serve immediately.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Tip: If you cannot find boneless thighs with the skin left on you can ask the butcher to bone them for you. Otherwise you can bone them yourself from the underside leaving the skin intact. The thighs can be assembled up to a day ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to pop them in the oven.