This is one of the first recipes I made for my parents when I started cooking for them a couple years ago. The first time I made this I used this recipe, and have since adapted from that. And truly, this was my first time cooking for my parents and my first time cooking any sort of meat! So naturally it was raw in the center and we had to throw it in the microwave and I was MORTIFIED. But thankfully they trusted me to keep cooking for them, even though I’ve sometimes provided them with raw meats, or semi-questionable combinations. But that’s what learning is all about – making mistakes, learning, and adapting!
These easy weeknight dinner is perfect for 2 – 3 people depending on the size of your chicken thighs. Since most of the time the chicken is in the oven, you have time to clean or relax if your are anything like me.
Using Fresh Basil vs. Dried Basil
So I’ve made this recipe both with fresh basil, and dried basil (because I had forgotten to buy it in the store that Sunday and really did not want to go back for it). And honestly, I should have, the fresh basil is the MOST important part of this recipe. However when using dried basil in a pinch like I did, make sure you use extra because you really want that basil flavor to come through!
Bonus points to you if you have a fresh basil plant in your home – we always end up killing ours! When spring comes again I will be getting a new one, and I WILL KEEP IT ALIVE THIS TIME.
Making the Sauce
I always make the sauce first, and then I have to refrain from dipping everything available in it. It’s so delicious, but I have to remind myself that I need to save it for the chicken! Sometimes I just make a double batch, one for dinner, and one for the appetizer.
In the sauce there are five ingredients, 12oz jar of roasted red peppers, fresh basil, italian seasoning, garlic, and olive oil. And it’s so easy to put together, and then your food processor or blender does the hard part for you! And yes, I do tend to use the whole 12oz jar of roasted red peppers, the more the better. It’s only the star of the show.
Make a Side of Roasted Broccoli
Trust me, you will not regret it. The broccoli and the sauce mix amazingly well together. Alternatively you could also steam some broccoli and mix some of the sauce with it like a dressing. Hmm….now that I think about it, I may be doing this again tomorrow night with some steamed broccoli!
But we all know, when it comes to veggies, I love to roast them! Classic Laura, roasting vegetables. If you follow my Instagram you will truly see my love for roasting vegetables. So of course, I had to roast the broccoli. And it’s just so easy, especially if it’s an afterthought, or if you’re making this recipe for the first time. It’s an easy side that you won’t have to focus too much of your attention on.
So get some some (3) broccoli crowns (that’s what I prefer at least, since I don’t necessarily like the stems.) Cut them up into smaller pieces like the photo below, mix them up with olive oil, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic and get them in the oven! A 375° oven to be exact, and roast them for about 30 – 40 minutes.
Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Thighs
- 6 chicken thighs trimmed
- 1 12oz jar of roasted red peppers
- 1 handful fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsps Italian seasoning divided
- 5 Tbsps olive oil divided
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- Preheat your oven to 375°
- In your food processor or blender, mix together the roasted red peppers, garlic, basil, 3 Tbsps olive oil, and 1 Tbsp Italian season until smooth.
- Heat 2 Tbsps of olive oil in a large pan over medium – high heat. Use the other Tbsp of Italian seasoning and sprinkle the top and bottom of the chicken thighs.
- Brown the thighs, skin side down, 7 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan.
- Add the red pepper mixture, and heavy cream to the pan. Stir, scraping up the burned bits on the pan. Let simmer for 2 -3 minutes, or until sauce has started to thicken, and remove from heat.
- In a 9×13 baking dish line up chicken thighs and cover with the sauce. Cook 40 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the oven, and top with fresh basil and feta cheese to serve.