Black pepper chicken thighs with Thai celery salad

It makes me so happy when we make a great dinner. I find it uplifting. As always, my plating skills are abysmal but DAMN this an extremely good dinner. I had some chicken thighs and thinking about lots of black pepper but I wanted bone-in, skin on and something that could just be popped in the oven. Some ferocious googling led me to the recipe below and it was a big winner! Honestly, I expected the salad to win the plate but I think the chicken did…although honestly it was the combination of the two that nudged the meal up a few notches.

We marinated the chicken about three or four hours. There is not a lot of marinade so I think it’s easiest to do it in a plastic bag (although I’m trying to use less of them) and squish it all together. Later all we had to do was toss them in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. I thought it would take longer as the thighs were really big but no, that time and temp was right on the money. Of course I didn’t use the garlic and we just used some ginger paste we had on hand. This chicken is CRAZY flavorful and so simple!


  • 6 Chicken thighs (bone-in)
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste (or 1/2 tbsp grated garlic + 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger)
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Salt (or according to taste)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground pepper (I like it a little coarsely ground
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish
  1. Rinse and trim any excess fat off your chicken thighs, then make three slits in the meat to the bone. (This helps the marinade flavor just the skin of the chicken but the inner meat too)
  2. Mix together the garlic- ginger paste , Worcestershire sauce, salt, freshly ground black pepper and squeeze in the juice of half a lime.
  3. Spoon over the mixed marinade over the chicken thighs (you can do it in a zip lock bag if touching chicken makes you squeamish) and massage it into the chicken to coat both sides well. Cover and let the chicken marinade in the fridge for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 400F and arrange your chicken in an oven proof skillet or casserole dish and roast the chicken for 40 minutes (or more depending on the size of your chicken…but keep in mind the slits will help cook the chicken faster than if you didn’t score them) until the skin turns a lovely golden and the juices run clear when you poke it with a knife.

We got some vegetables from Farmer Greg recently and we got a batch of his celery. It’s not big stalks as most celery is, it’s almost more like a big bunch of herbs. Although it’s a bit different texture because of that, I decided to make on my favorite salads.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 6 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 3 thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 thinly sliced red chile, such as Fresno
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts

Whisk together 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, and 2 teaspoons fish sauce. Toss with 6 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal, 3 thinly sliced scallions, 1 thinly sliced red chile, such as Fresno, 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, and 1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts.

Of course I adapted it to what we had on hand. I used the whole bunch of celery along with green onion tops. I didn’t have a red chile but I had some jalapeño. Whoops, turns out my jalapeño had gone bad so red pepper flakes it was. I wish I’d had a few more peanuts, but honestly, this recipe is so damn good that you can play with it a bit. I think you COULD add a bit of sweetness to the dressing. My friend Diana suggested using orange marmalade to add sweetness to a dressing. I gotta try that.

Again, I am easily amused:


Top photo: sometimes you just hit the lottery with a neighbor. Thanks for the daffodils, Barb. 💛