Hands Off Dinner Party Decadence

Or, I'm-poor-but-want-to-eat-fancy, I'm-easily-distracted-but-I-hate-takeout or my personal favorite, I-hate-recipes-but-I-want-to-impress-friends. Whatever your reason, I have discovered the secret to perfection: this lemony, honey-mustardy roasted chicken, served here with rice and some insanely good roasted broccoli I'll share later this week.

With only about 10 minutes hands on time TOTAL (unless you move like a sloth then maybe 20), you will be able to go back to your main priorities: catching up with friends, pouring drinks, checking off the last 4 episodes of Downton Abbey you haven't watched because the series is ending and why!?

Backstory to this dinner: I decided I wanted chicken thighs, because they were so amazingly tender and delicious when I made the gluten free chicken pot pie a few weeks back. I also knew I hadn't touched the whole grain mustard I bought for that recipe, so I googled "whole grain mustard chicken thighs" and the first recipe up was from Martha Stewart's website, albeit not from the icon herself. I watched the cooking video, and was surprised that the recipe actually came from the author's son when he was playing around with what he had in his place during college. That settled it; if a guy in college was making this as an alternative to ordering wings, it had to be easy and delicious enough for me to try. I highly recommend clicking on that site, which I've hyperlinked again here, all I did was play around with the recipe a little bit below but the real credit obviously goes to him.

With the tiniest bit of planning ("How much time can I let the chicken marinade before it spends almost 40 minutes in the oven? At what point does the rice I've chosen play into this waiting game?" There, planning done) you are on your way to a relatively hands-off dinner that will impress everyone you serve it to - including, and most importantly, yourself.

An extra note: I bought the biggest chicken thighs I could find, bit they were still a bit small for dinner. Plan on an extra side or making more than one thigh per person if you have hungry guests! I'm making a special dessert tonight you'll hear about soon though, so it was almost better to make sure everyone saved a little room.


Total time: 2 hours (Hands on time ~10 minutes)

Serves: 4


  • 4 chicken thighs, bone in (6-8 if you have a hungry bunch)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, no need to be fancy here
  • 1 large lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • ~1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • ~1 tablespoon honey 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (yes again, shut up!)





  1. In a storage sized resealable bag or large bowl (depending on cleanup preferences, I went bowl), pour in olive oil, zest of as much as you can of the lemon, and all of the juice. Salt and pepper to taste, then add chicken and seal/cover, storing in fridge for at least an hour (that's all I needed!).
  2. If making roasted broccoli, or any other veggie or side, start prepping! Otherwise watch your shows, pour a bev, chat with pals! At some point in this hour or so, preheat your oven to 400° and set up your rice so you don't make a mess pouring grains of rice all over the place in a rush like I always do. Honestly rice is the worst. Sure, it's a filling grain that's delicious especially with loads of butter and salt, but I alway manage to screw it up. Pretty sure this was my second successful rice-making experience in my life and it's only rice! Ugh. So do what you need to do here so your rice doesn't suck, takes more work than ya think.
  3. Line a large pan with foil, then pour a little bit of olive oil in (maybe a tablespoon? Gotta eyeball it) and tilt pan to spread. Use tongs to place chicken on pan skin side down - that way we can crisp it up at the very end! Throw that sucker in the oven for, if you'd like to get exact here, 23 minutes and 11 seconds.
  4. In those 23 minutes and 11 seconds, you can work on other sides or refilling drinks, then throw together the glaze: whisk mustard, honey, olive oil and s&p together in a small bowl, making sure to taste to make sure it's just the way you like it! Testing with chips isn't a bad idea...
  5. Flip the chicken skin side up and put back in the oven, turned up to 425°, for another 10 minutes. Work on finishing touches now or finding a less heart-rending show since you're going through too many boxes of tissues watching Downton.
  6. Add your glaze - and make it rain on all sides and any little crevices - then broil for 5 minutes; I really only needed 4. Reminder for those new to broiling: leave the oven door slightly open! Otherwise you'll be way past Nelly's "Hot in Herre" in your way to Pitbull's "Fireball" - but your house, not the drink.


                       Serve and enjoy!