Illustration by Preston Randall
Photos by Mackenzie Shaffer
Hello, friend! I’m so glad you’re here. I’m Mackenzie, otherwise known as Mack, and this is All Mack No Cheese––a blog revolving around all things food. Welcome.
Cooking has always been a prevalent and comforting activity in my life. I feel most myself when I’m cooking, and being able to make something for someone to eat and enjoy is one of my greatest pleasures. The taste of good food, the people you’re enjoying it with and the environment surrounding you can make for some of life’s sweetest moments. Needless to say, I find great joy in orchestrating these moments for others—and for myself, as well—with food being the foundation of it all.
My hope with this blog is to help shed some light on how to make these wonderful moments more attainable in the day-to-day. Here, I will share recipes, information, advice and ideas about any and all culinary subjects. Food is so special and helps make life more special. I hope I can help you see that too.
I thank you for joining me on this journey. Now, let’s get started!
I see it only fitting that after sharing how special food is to me, I share my most special recipe with you. Behold: Dad’s Oven Roasted Rosemary Chicken Thighs with Red Sauce.
This dish is my comfort food. It’s so simple that it’s basically foolproof, and it always takes me back home no matter where I find myself in the world—not to mention it’s a crowd-pleaser.
I can’t take all the credit here—this is my dad’s recipe, hence the dish’s title, and he’s been making this meal for years—but I consider this recipe part of me, too. So, without further ado …
Dad’s Oven Roasted Rosemary Chicken Thighs with Red Sauce
Serving size: 2 (2 thighs per person)
Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45–50 minutes
For the chicken:
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
(optional) fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish
For the sauce:
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1/3 cup barbecue sauce, vinegar-based/Carolina-style (look for “sweet and tangy” somewhere on the bottle)
2 tablespoons hot sauce (Louisiana or Frank’s Red Hot each work really well)
Spritz of lemon juice
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper and dried rosemary.
- On the lined baking sheet, coat the chicken thighs in the olive oil, ensuring both sides are well covered.
- Season both sides of the chicken thighs with the seasoning mixture, ending with the thighs skin-side up on the tray (this is very important).
- Place the tray on a middle rack in the oven and bake for 45–50 minutes until the skin is crispy and browned.
- With about 10 minutes left in the chicken cooking process, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and place on low to medium heat, stirring frequently. The sauce should finish as your chicken does with a few minutes to thicken a little.
- Plate chicken and spoon sauce over the thighs. Garnish each thigh with a fresh rosemary sprig. Enjoy!
- These chicken thighs are foolproof—as long as the internal temperature of each thigh reaches 165 degrees, you’re golden. Literally. You can’t burn them, you can’t dry out the inside, they’re actually perfect. No matter how long you cook the thighs, the skin stays crunchy and delicious, and the inside stays tender and juicy. Aim for 45 minutes at least, but if you find you desire a crispier skin, 50–55 minutes should do the trick as well. You could also broil them at the end for a minute or two, but this is a tricky game to play if you’re not a diligent oven-watcher.
- As you stir your sauce, taste it. If it tastes too tangy for your liking, add more barbecue sauce a tablespoon at a time. If it tastes too deep, add more butter a tablespoon at a time. Adding more of either butter or barbecue sauce (or hot sauce if you like the heat) will affect the texture of the sauce. If you find your sauce appears to be too runny, increase the heat and bring the sauce to a slight boil so it can thicken. If your sauce appears to be too thick, decrease the heat and add a bit more butter. Additionally, keep in mind that your sauce will thicken rapidly when it is removed from heat altogether, so try and serve it immediately.
There you have it, the innermost window to my soul … just kidding. This chicken pairs nicely with a vegetable side and some mashed potatoes, making for a very hearty, warming and special meal—special to me, at least.
Thanks for reading, friend. Let’s talk again soon.
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Hi, I’m Holly Liptak, a senior journalism student from Akron and the editor-in-chief of The Burr this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you interesting, humorous and hard-hitting stories that tap into current events, trends and the lives of those who have made a home in Kent, Ohio. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.