This ridiculously easy recipe for tender, taste-bud tantalizing chicken requires only three ingredients: chicken, Emeril’s Chicken Rub, and a little olive oil to grease the baking dish. That’s it. No foolin’. And even your pickiest eaters will love it. The credit for engineering this dish goes to my cuisinely clever husband, also responsible for the simple, delicious Lemon Chicken, Mustard-Crusted Tri-Tip, and Cheesy Potatoes recipes.
If, like me, you are concerned about what goes into a product like Emeril’s Chicken Rub in addition to a beautifully balanced combo of healthy herbs and spices, the only preservatives listed are calcium carbonate (often used as a calcium supplement) and citric acid—both pretty benign. Thank you for that, Emeril. Or should I say, BAM!
This dish is best when cooked between 325° and 350° for longer than you would think. I tried rushing this recipe once when cooking for a crowd by turning up the temp to 425°. Alas and alack! Not only did it dry out the chicken, it also failed to attain the usual tender, tasty coating formed when the Emeril’s Chicken Rub bathes in the bubbling chicken juices while cooking at the lower temperature. That evening, many a gentle soul expecting a mouth-watering meal were instead subjected to a not-so-satisfying version of what is normally a succulent favorite. The moral here, my culinary comrades, is to be sure you allow about 90 minutes for preparing this recipe. You may not need that much time, but better to crow over a sound success than cluck regretfully over parched poultry.
Although it’s just the two of us at home these days, we usually fill a 9×13″ glass baking dish with about 3 lbs of thighs so we have plenty of perfectly seasoned chicken ready for salads, sandwiches, soups, wraps, casseroles, or just plain eating (cold or hot–yum!). A few of the recipes on this site that call for cooked chicken are Chicken Divan, Heart-Smart Chicken Soup, and 24-Hour Layered Salad, all excellent for feeding your hungry flock.
Easy Emeril Spiced Chicken
- About 3 lbs. of chicken thighs
- 1/4 to 1/3 bottle of Emeril’s Chicken Rub
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
Putting it all together
Grease a 9×13” baking dish with the olive oil. Rinse the thighs, pat dry lightly with paper towels (a little extra moisture is fine) and place them in the baking dish in a single layer if possible (a bit of squeezing is okay). Sprinkle the Emeril spice to coat each piece (don’t skimp!), turn them over to coat the other side, then flip them back over. If you see any bald spots, hit ‘em again with some chicken rub. You will probably use between 1/4 and 1/3 of a bottle. Bake uncovered at 350° or a little lower if you like (no need to preheat). After about 30 minutes, use tongs to turn over the thighs, then resume cooking. You can add a little more chicken rub at this point to cover any bare patches. Check after about 15 minutes to see if the tops have formed a slightly browned and crispy coating. When they have, turn them back over until you see the same light browning and crustiness on that side. This normally takes between 45 and 60 minutes, at which point the chicken will be thoroughly cooked but will still be juicy from bubbling in the chicken fat and Emeril’s rub. Serve with your favorite sides or just pig out on chicken. Oink, oink!
Serves 6 as a main dish.