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story.lead_photo.caption Chicago Tribune/TNS/ABEL URIBE Basic, But Delicious, Roast Chicken Thighs

It happens to all of us. We finish our commute after a long day of work with no idea what to have for dinner. All too often, I pop into the local supermarket and settle on a rotisserie chicken. And I mean settle. Dry, bland, boring.

No more.

I vow to stock up on fresh chicken pieces so I have some on hand for weeknight cooking. I time-tested myself: I can roast half a dozen chicken pieces in less than 30 minutes — the same amount of time it takes to drive to the market, pick up a cooked bird and drive back. If I line my roasting pan with foil, the cleanup is practically effortless.

I've gained a lot in those 30 minutes too. The house smells great and I have delicious, moist and juicy pieces left over for the next night's meal.

My absolute favorite cut of chicken? The thigh. The meat has great flavor, stays juicy and reheats well. Thigh meat also tastes terrific pulled into shreds for tacos, sandwiches and salads. Roasting chicken on the convection setting yields crisp skin; use a higher temperature if using a conventional oven setting.

All a chicken thigh needs for a great outcome is a rub-down with seasonings. Salt and fresh pepper yield versatile meat, but employing all the rubs I procure on vacations and at specialty shops keeps things interesting.

If you are a planner, arrange the chicken on the foil-lined sheet, rub it with seasoning and refrigerate it covered up to 2 days. Then remove it from the refrigerator to warm up a bit while the oven heats.

You can master fast roasted chicken pieces with just a couple of tries. Then, you'll wonder why you ever settled for supermarket rotisserie chicken.

I usually double this recipe; leftovers are terrific to have on hand for adding to salads, sandwiches and soups.

Basic, But Delicious, Roast Chicken Thighs

4 to 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1 tablespoon favorite spice rub

½ teaspoon salt (if spice rub does not contain salt)

Heat oven to 375 degrees on convection or 400 degrees on conventional. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels, then place them onto the prepared baking sheet, bone side up. Sprinkle with the spice rub. (Sprinkle with salt if the rub has no salt.) Turn the thighs over, skin side up, and sprinkle with more of the rub and optional salt.

Roast in the middle of the oven, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time, until the juices run clear and internal temperature is 165 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes. If desired, broil, 6 inches from heat source, until skin is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Let rest a few minutes before serving. Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Food on 06/05/2019

Print Headline: Roasted thighs beat rotisserie chicken

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