These Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs are served over seasoned rice with a Dijon cream sauce. Sounds fancy, right? But this recipe came out of your own kitchen!
You know what’s totally underappreciated? Nope, not kale. That’s way over over-appreciated. Underappreciated is pan sauces. Now I know French cuisine is full of recipes using pan sauces, but I don’t feel like I come across many recipes using pan sauces. In the broadest sense, pan sauces are simply that. Sauces that are made in the same pan that was used to cook meat, veggies or other protein.
You know that dark stuff on the bottom of the pan when you sear meats or veggies? That’s not just burnt stuff. (Well, maybe it was burnt if you turned the heat up too high and then got distracted looking on Facebook on your phone. Not like I speak from experience or anything here…) There’s actually a fancy term for those browned bits of sugars and proteins that are left in the bottom of the pan. It’s called fond. The French call it sucs (pronounced “sook.”) I call it delicious.
Many moons ago, I organized cooking classes for a local kitchenware store. As part of that job, I helped host the class and serve tasting samples to the guests. I also got to sit through each class, and I learned so much from our visiting chefs. One of the themes that appeared quite often was how valuable the fond is when cooking. Once a fond develops in the bottom of the pan, there are several ways you can go for making a sauce. Deglazing that pan with red wine is quite common – check out this post for a tasty pearl onion red wine sauce that goes great with steak.
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs
Another idea? Cream sauces. Now you’ve got to be careful when adding dairy to a hot pan as it can curdle. For these Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs, I avoided the curdling issue by adding some flour to the pan before adding the cream. (I also reduced the heat.) The flour soaks up the flavors in the bottom of the pan and then the cream comes in afterwards. I added a bit of Dijon mustard along with some spices, and in no time flat I had a delicious Dijon cream sauce.
Dijon cream sauce sounds super fancy, right? Like something you might see at a high-end restaurant? Well this came from your kitchen, folks! Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs with Dijon Cream Sauce. (My wife pointed out that this cream sauce would also go well with steak. I think she might be onto something there.)
I used boneless chicken thighs for this recipe, but other meats would also work here. Boneless chicken breasts would be an option. Sirloin steaks would be another choice. The real key is the bacon. The bacon-wrapped chicken gets seared in the pan, and that’s what produces the fond, aka sucs, aka delicious bits of browned stuff at the bottom of the pan. The bacon-wrapped chicken thighs then go off to the oven to finish cooking while you make the cream sauce in the pan. Serve the entire thing over a bed of seasoned rice, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a dinner. So make sure to stop and smell the
roses fond – it’s your new best friend in the kitchen!
Did you make these Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version of this dish!
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs
For the Rice
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 2 cups uncooked white rice
- ½ Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
For the Chicken
- 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs (~3 pounds)
- 10 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1 large yellow onion cut into thick slices
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
For the Rice
- Using a medium saucepan, add chicken stock and place over medium-high heat.
- Once boiling, add rice and stir. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Cook for 20 minutes. (Note: Do not remove the lid or stir during this step.)
- Remove lid and fluff rice with fork.
- Stir in oregano, salt and smoked paprika; set rice aside.
For the Chicken
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Wrap each chicken thigh with a slice of bacon. Use a toothpick to secure, or tuck loose end of bacon under itself.
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken thighs. Cook for 4-8 minutes, turning occasionally, or until bacon begins to turn crispy. (Note: I did this in two rounds to prevent overcrowding the pan.)
- Transfer chicken to a foil-lined baking pan. Leave any excess drippings in the skillet.
- Add onions to skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until onions have softened.
- Transfer onions to the baking pan with the chicken. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F. (Note: If you used a toothpick to secure bacon, remove toothpick after baking.)
- Meanwhile, place skillet over medium heat. Add flour and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and add cream and Dijon mustard; stir until flour is absorbed and mixture is well combined. Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until sauce has thickened slightly.
- Remove from heat and add oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper; stir until well combined. (Note: If sauce thickens too much, just stir in a bit more cream or milk until it reaches desired consistency.)
- For serving, divide rice onto plates and add ladle of sauce. Top with 2-3 chicken thighs.
Looking for more tasty bacon recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: