Chicken thigh cutlets are so inexpensive and delicious, and vastly underrated as a family meal.
A tray of 6-8 thigh cutlets on the bone rarely costs more than about $6 where I live.
They look a little more substantial when served than a lonely thigh fillet does, and the bone adds a bit of flavour oomph too.
This recipe is one I came up with when I had run out of honey and wanted to do a marinade for the cutlets that night. The old combo of honey, soy and ginger is pretty hard to beat! I'd been browsing Salted Caramel sauce for Christmas gifts, and thought that a similar combination of flavours would probably work. After all, it's just brown sugar, salt and cream or butter....how could that not be awesome? Add the ginger which marries so well with chicken, and we're onto something.
If like us, you find that idea of honey, soy and ginger appealing, then you'll find this as yummy as we do. It's not something you'd eat every day given the combination of the sugar and butter, but as a special meal, it's a winner.
It's best to start preparing these an at least an hour before baking them, and the night before or that morning is even better to give the flavours a chance to permeate the chicken.
1-2 chicken thigh cutlets per person (1 is enough for my daughter and I, but husband prefers 2)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 dessertspoon minced or grated fresh ginger
Pinch of salt
Line a baking tray with paper or foil and set aside.
Lay the chicken cutlets on the tray, and poke holes in the flesh with a sharp knife to allow the marinade to really flavour the meat.
Run your fingers between the skin and the flesh to loosen the skin slightly, without separating it from the cutlet.
Combine the softened butter, brown sugar, ginger and salt to a smooth paste.
With clean hands, take small a small ball of the paste and push it under the skin of the chicken cutlet. Smooth it with your fingers so it covers the surface of the thigh cutlet, sitting between the skin and the meat. Blot the skin of the chicken dry with a paper towel, and press a second ball of the paste over the surface of the skin. So now you have the mouthwatering Salted Caramel and Ginger paste between the meat and the skin, as well as on the surface of the skin.
Place the tray in the refrigerator and let the marinade paste do it's job.
When you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180C fan forced or 190C normal, and place the chicken cutlets in the oven. Bake for about 45-60 minutes depending on your oven. I bake mine for nearly an hour in a fan forced oven so that they're all brown and bubbly. Brush the marinade back onto the chicken as it dribbles down the sides.
The butter and sugar will caramelise as the chicken cooks, creating a gorgeous sticky coating, that is a treat for the senses.
Serve with a crunchy coleslaw and steamed baby potatoes or steamed rice.
Very, very YUM!