David Theiss: Chicken thighs and fresh zucchini (recipe)

Grilled chicken thighs partner with fresh grilled zucchini.

Grilled chicken thighs partner with fresh grilled zucchini.

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I was walking through the Farmers Market the other day and was impressed by all the squash that was available, especially the zucchini.
I took some home and wondered what kind of protein I would cook alongside it; I decided on some chicken thighs. I’m preparing and selling this new marinated chicken in the store called Cracked Pepper Marinated Chicken Thighs. They are great on the grill and that’s just the way I like to prepare my zucchinis as well!
Chicken thighs are typically a lot more moist when grilled compared to other white meat breasts. For years dark meat chicken has been getting a bad reputation in America, but people around the world have loved it for decades. In fact, the United States exported $4.25 billion in just dark meat in 2019.
You may have a taste preference for dark or light meat, it’s always the question, but it turns out that health concerns about dark meat are largely blown out of proportion. Here are the facts. According to the USDA, “three ounces of roasted chicken thigh contains 210 total calories, and 120 calories of fat — or 13 grams, which is 20% of your recommended daily value for total fat consumption, only 3.5 grams are saturated fat — which is 18% of your recommended daily value in that category.”
That means most of the fat in chicken thighs is the healthy unsaturated kind. Also, according to the USDA, “a 3-ounce portion of roasted chicken breast contains 170 calories, of which 60 are from total fat. That's 7 grams of fat or 10% of your recommended daily value. Saturated fat content is 2 grams or 9% of your RDV for that fat subcategory.”
It's clear that chicken thighs contain twice as much fat as chicken breasts — but the majority of the fat is unsaturated, so they also contain twice as much of the heart-healthy fat, as well.
With all of that all being said, chicken thighs marinate well, are great on the grill and a delicious option for your main course! Paired with some fresh grilled zucchini and rice. you’ve got a simple, healthy, and delicious meal! And if you always seem like you are running out of time, we offer freshly cracked pepper marinated chicken breasts ready to go on the grill.
Here’s my favorite way to grill zucchini:
Grab a few medium sized zucchinis, wash and then cut off the ends.
Slice lengthwise about 3/16” thick.
In a bowl incorporate olive oil, granulated garlic, salt, pepper, and onion flakes. Coat zucchini lightly and put on a hot grill, but don’t go far- they cook fast!
Approximately 2 minutes each side and they are done. I love to drizzle some balsamic glaze over them and serve. Mmmmmm.
Marinated Chicken thighs
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated
To marinate the chicken properly a minimum of two hours of soak time is suggested, but overnight is better.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken thighs coating completely. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours before cooking. Cook on a hot grill. I like to turn several times to get those crunchies and all sides properly cooked. On a hot grill it should take them approximately 6-7 minutes or until internal temp is 160 degrees.  Let rest a few minutes and then serve alongside the grilled zucchini! Enjoy!
David Theiss is owner of Butler Gourmets Meats, Serving Carson city for over 48 years.


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