This is the quintessential man food.
Seriously. It’s meat. Stuffed with seafood. Wrapped in bacon. Served with beer. Need I say more?
When I first started toying with the idea of stuffed chicken thighs, I was thinking something more along the lines of a goat cheese-spinach-and-sun-dried tomato stuffing. Or maybe a brie-and-fig-coulis stuffing. (Actually, the brie and fig stuffing idea still sounds good…I may try that sometime soon!) Except that I didn’t have goat cheese or spinach or sun-dried tomatoes or brie or fig coulis at home. So I started thinking about other ideas and I remembered back when Kevin and I spent a weekend in Ocean City with our family (so it was five weeks ago but really? It feels like forever) and at one restaurant Kevin ordered an appetizer that involved chicken stuffed with a crab cake. Pretty genius, right? And then I remembered that we happened to have all the ingredients for my grain and dairy free crab cakes at home and therefore this recipe was born.
Actually, no. When I returned home from work I was planning on making crab cake stuffed chicken thighs and baking them in the oven. But then I mentioned that to my caveman husband to which he responded, “why don’t you wrap them in bacon and we can throw them on the grill instead?” And then this recipe was born.
See? Total guy food.
The thighs were a little time-intensive (I had bone-in, skin-in chicken thighs, we needed to de-bone them before stuffing them) but the end result was totally worth it.
I realize that if you live on the East Coast like I do, October all of the sudden decided to join the party and grace us with those 55 degree fall days that I absolutely love, and grilling may not be high on your list of cooking methods. But if you have a man in your life who loves to grill as much as mine does, a little chill in the air will not sway them! (My husband may or may not have been illegally grilling on our balcony during a snowstorm in February. I can neither confirm nor deny this fact, should my former apartment complex ever ask.)
And speaking of my former apartment complex, we are officially OUT of the apartment and IN the new house! I adore our house. Even though I’m writing this at my dining table while wrapped in a fuzzy blanket because we don’t want to turn our heat on yet and it’s 60 degrees in the house, if I look over my shoulder I can see the view out of the window and it’s THE WOODS. The other day a fox ran through our back yard, no joke. It’s quiet and serene and exactly what Kevin and I have been looking for, so we couldn’t be happier.
But now, back to the food!
Meat + Seafood + Bacon + Beer. Questions? I didn’t think so.
CRAB STUFFED CHICKEN THIGHS WRAPPED IN BACON
prep time: 20-30 minutes (if you have to debone the chicken)
cook time: 45 minutes
4-6 chicken thighs (skin-on is preferred. If you can’t find boneless, get bone-in and debone the chicken yourself)
bacon (2-3 strips per thigh)
Debone your chicken if necessary. Prepare crab cake mix and stuff each chicken thigh with an equal portion of the crab. Fold chicken over, using skin to close the thigh, and wrap bacon around each thigh. (2-3 strips per thigh, depending on your bacon). If necessary, secure each thigh with 2 toothpicks. (Our bacon was thick cut and using three strips per thigh kept them together well). Grill chicken over indirect heat for about 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with beer. (And probably a green vegetable, so you can feel better about all the bacon you’re eating.)