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Wine-merinated chicken thighs

Wed 28 Mar 2018 18:49:38 PDT
This is a great dish for a dinner party. Most of the work can be done well ahead of time, even the day before. Preparation just before baking isn't complicated or especially messy and cooking process isn't touchy or unusually time-critical. It's pretty easy, looks good and tastes wonderful. Guests won't even guess it's a low-sodium dish! In fact, I wouldn't even bother to tell them…

Bone-in thighs are a really good choice for this kind of main-course dish. Thighs are favored by knowledgeable chefs who say it's the most flavorful part of the chicken. Very often there's no point in arguing with people having the most experience. In this case we're inclined to agree with that down-to-earth wisdom.


  • chicken thighs, bone-in 8 pieces
  • white wine or dry vermouth 1/3 cup
  • lime juice 1½ tbsp
  • lime zest 1/8 lime
  • molasses 1 tsp
  • coffee, brewed 1 tsp
  • oregano, fresh, chopped 1 tbsp
  • garlic, chopped 1 tsp
  • smoked paprika 1/2 tsp
  • cumin, ground 1/2 tsp
  • coriander, ground 1/2 tsp
  • cardamom, ground 1/4 tsp
  • salt 1/2 tsp
  • black pepper 1/4 tsp
  • olive oil 2 tbsp
  1. In a small bowl, mix wine, lime juice, coffee and molasses.
  2. Add zest, oregano, spices, salt, pepper and oil. Mix well.
  3. Place chicken gallon-size sealable plastic freezer bag, then pour merinade over the pieces. Seal the bag. Turn it over a few times so that the chicken pieces are well-coated.
  4. Put the bag in a bowl (to catch leaks), and the whole thing in the refrigerator. Chicken should remain there for 3 to 24 hours.
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Take chicken from fridge, carefully open bag and empty chicken into the bowl.
  3. Leaving merinade in bowl, reserve for sauce.
  4. With a rubber spatula wipe merinade off of the chicken. Gently remove surface moisture from the chicken with a paper towel. It won't get bone dry, but reducing moisture is helpful.
  5. Arrange chicken in a large baking dish, or cookie sheet (if you want, lined with parchment paper).
  6. Bake for 30-45 min or until internal temperature is ~165°F.
  7. When done remove chicken to a covered dish. Let rest for several minutes before serving.
Sauce (optional)
  • chicken stock 1-1½ cup
  • oat or garbanzo flour 1 tsp
  • garlic, chopped 1/2-1 tsp
  • oregano, fresh, chopped 2 tsp
  • cumin, ground 1/4 tsp
  • coriander, ground 1/2 tsp
  • cardamom, ground 1/4 tsp
  • salt, pepper as needed
  • olive oil 1 tbsp
  1. Add 1 cup chicken stock to hot baking dish. Stir with a wooden spatula or spiral whisk to assist dissolving the juices in the dish.
  2. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and when ready add garlic. Saute for a few minutes then sprinkle in the flour and stir for a minute or so until the foaming subsides.
  3. Add the stock from the baking dish, stir to produce a smooth and thickened mixture. If it's too thick add some additional stock.
  4. Stir in oregano, spices, salt, pepper, adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Serve with chicken. Excellent with Wild rice with celery and garlic.
Categories: poultry

About Thinair Recipes

Recipes developed with low-sodium diets in mind—so easy to use!

Here's a quick guide:
Recipes have one or more “boxed” ingredient lists grouped with step-by-step instructions, for example:

  • garlic, chopped 3 cloves
  • chicken stock 2 cups
  • ...other ingredients...
  1. Saute garlic in oil until soft.
  2. Add chicken stock to pan...
  3. step...

Ingredient boxes show what you'll need for the numbered steps. Not too complicated!

BTW “salt” in our recipes refers to salt substitute, i.e., potassium chloride, KCl. (Since KCl may not be healthy for some people, ask your doctor if it's OK for you to use it.)