If you've ever read this blog, you know I'm a fan of chicken thighs. Braised, roasted, grilled...doesn't really matter. They're dirt cheap, easy to prepare, and absolutely delicious.
The problem is, until you learn the secret of cooking these little jewels, they will taste fatty, possibly a little chewy, and wouldn't be a meal you'd actually look forward to, much less consider serving to guests. But with a little proper seasoning, then searing to golden brown in a little EVOO, and then finished by roasting on 400 until virtually all traces of fat are gone (about 30-35 minutes) and the only thing that remains of the otherwise humble chicken thigh is truly a thing of beauty: a lean, juicy piece of meat with a crispy, flavorful golden crust. And let me just tell you, I'd proudly serve this to any guest. Exposing the bone, just so you know, is actually of little consequence but it does make the presentation much nicer and the thigh considerably easier to eat.
On a related note, I've been exploring wines from small scale vineyards producing high quality wines at a reasonable price. Cherry Hill Winery is one such example. They're relatively new to the scene and are located about an hour south of Portland in Oregon's Willamette Valley. The winery is about 90 acres and as you might expect, they produce a great little Pinot Noir. They also produce Pinot Gris, Poverty Road, and a Pinot Noir Dry Rosé, Vanda. Check it out if you're a fan of Oregan Pinot. Scale of 1-10 with 10 being best, I'd say this wine is about an 8 at the $20-25 price point.