I’ll admit – I’ve suffered a little from “writers block” with regards to this post. It was going to be a list of my favourite “go-to” recipes that probably don’t call for a page on their own. Then I finally found my “stream” and what was intended as a selection of short/quick recipes became this recipe for “Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs” instead.
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs
Yes – it’s just what it says on the tin. I buy the big packs from Aldi which will generally get you at least 6 thighs and sometimes up to 9 (though these tend to be smaller). They are sold with the skin on and bone in. Removing the skin though is easy – albeit maybe a little yucky. One edge of the skin will nearly always be loose enough to get your fingers under. Poke fingers through and pull and the skin will come off except for one edge. Snip with a pair of kitchen scissors and remove any left over pockets of fat/skin. Voila – one skinless chicken thigh.
This is where you can “dress it up” if you wish.
At the most easiest – you just wrap the bacon (all fat removed of course) around the chicken thighs (you may need two rashers depending on the size of the thigh and/or size/shape of the bacon). Don’t worry if there is some exposed chicken though. Spray with Fry-Light and cook in a hot oven (I do it at about 200c) for 20/30mins.
Or you could sprinkle the chicken with your favourite herb or spice before wrapping in bacon.
Or maybe consider putting a fresh sage leaf (or two) around the chicken before wrapping it up in the bacon.
Another option – a slice or two of chorizo under the bacon. Yes chorizo has syns. I tend towards the chorizo from the deli counter in Waitrose – as I can buy the number of slices I need at the thickness I want. I also know the syn value for this and can work it out. 6 fairly thin slices will come in at about 33p and 1.5/2syns (but please check the brand you are able to get).
Feeling a little more adventurous – take the bone out of the chicken thigh. Yes you can buy skinless and boneless “chicken thigh fillets” – but you get about 3 thighs and it costs more. £1.89 for the 1Kg of thighs from Aldi, chicken thigh fillets (again at Aldi) typically work out about £2.49 (and for me Aldi is the cheapest place). Boning out the thigh is a little more work. I really should find the “correct” way of doing it but I have my method which works for me and speed isn’t of the essence as it would be in a butcher’s shop or restaurant kitchen.
Once the bone is out and after making sure there’s no little lumps of bone or gristle left in. What next?
Stuff them. That is stuff the chicken thigh. I’ve used both Paxo style stuffing – it’s a little syn heavy but works well. I’ve also defrosted 3 or 4 Linda McCartney Red Onion & Rosemary sausages and mashed them up in a bowl with a fork. This is a great time to add extra flavour – garlic, sage, more herbs, chilli flakes (or a dash or two of Tabasco). Roll into little sausage shapes to fit the chicken thighs you have and place where the bone came out. Roll chicken around it and then treat as above – seasoning, etc before wrapping bacon around.
The stuffed thighs will take a little longer than the bone-in thighs to cook, but do elevate it a little more.
Now I suspect you’re wondering how chicken thighs and bacon in the same meal can be counted as “thrifty”? The chicken as I say will cost about £1.90. Bacon – I may pay for a 99p pack from Heron Foods in town or I may dig into the freezer.
Every time I open a pack of bacon for a cooked brunch or a bacon roll (yes – you can have a bacon roll and lose weight) – I can never eat all of it in one sitting or even in two days. So two or three rashers will inevitably end up in the freezer for “another day”. As such there is nearly always bacon I can use in the freezer that takes all of 2 hours to thaw out. Herbs and spices come from the cupboard and just get replaced when I see that I’m low – about every 3 to 6 months depending on the herb/spice.
Yes I cook the entire pack of (up to) 9 thighs at the same time. But I also get at least two meals out of it. Hot out the oven with steamed veggies. The next day cold with a salad. If I stuff them – because there’s more there to eat – It’ll even go at least one extra day as a lunch item, something to snack on in the day or cold again with Slimming World style chips or a jacket potato.
Don’t forget – any bargains, etc I find whilst out and about will now only be placed on the thethriftydieter Facebook page. Make sure you like/follow for bargains plus updates when things get put on this site.