Herb-Brined, Walnut-Crusted Chicken Thighs
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 cup ice
2 cups apple juice
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh savory
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Zest of half an orange
In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the salt, pepper and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and add the ice. Stir in the apple juice.
Bruise the thyme, rosemary and savory by placing them a cutting board and hitting them with the back side of a chef’s knife or a meat mallet.
In a zip-close plastic bag, combine the liquid mixture with the herbs and garlic. Add the chicken thighs to the bag and squish around to cover in the brine. Refrigerate for 3 to 5 hours.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Remove the chicken and discard the brine. Use paper towels to pat the chicken thighs dry. Arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine the walnuts and breadcrumbs. In another small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, coriander and orange zest. Brush the mayonnaise mixture over the surface of each chicken thigh. Pat some of the walnut mixture evenly over the top of each thigh.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and 170 degrees at the center. makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 220 calories, 120 calories from fat (55 percent of total calories), 14 g fat (2.5 g saturated, 0 g trans fats), 60 mg cholesterol, 7 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 17 g protein, 360 mg sodium.