Nashville Hot

9 ways with chicken thighs

By Tara Fitzpatrick

Sidestepping a boneless , skinless chicken breast rut, chefs are braising, roasting and frying chicken thighs, accentuating the bolder, more “chickeny” flavor. Able to stand up to slow cooking, thighs are a prize. Especially in complex, hearty, earthy stew-like dishes, “because they stay especially juicy and add that intense flavor,” says Morrison Corporate Executive Chef Norbert Bomm. Click through for two of Bomm’s favorite chicken thigh dishes and several more from onsite operators.

One Pot Lemon Chicken Green Beans Orzo
  • Arroz con Pollo: A homespun Latin dish that famously pairs chicken and rice, arroz con pollo is served at several Morrison Healthcare locations. “The dish has lots of delicious layers, yielding tender, juicy chicken thighs and flavorful rice…a match made in food heaven,” Bomm says.
  • Broccoli rabe risotto with braised chicken thighs: Another chicken-and-rice selection from Morrison Healthcare, this one gets intense flavor from chicken thighs braised with fresh herbs (a hallmark of Morrison Healthcare’s playbook) in a creamy, slow-simmered risotto.
  • Biryani chicken with rice: This is an allergen-free offering at Sodexo’s Simple Servings concept at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. This is a popular dish with plenty of flavor and zero wheat, gluten, soy, eggs, milk, nuts or shellfish.
  • One-pot lemon chicken thighs: The Flik Hospitality culinary team came up with this hearty one-pot meal that includes a simmering cast of characters: chicken thighs, lemon juice, artichokes and green beans, all cooking together with fluffy orzo.
  • Nashville Hot Chicken: The Nashville hot chicken craze has been sweeping the country for a while now, and people can’t get enough of the burn-your-face-off treat. Flik Hospitality has a Nashville hot chicken menu item that uses chicken thighs.
  • Italian fried chicken thigh: Eddie Mundy, chef with Flik Independent School Dining at Western Reserve Academy, a private school in Hudson, Ohio, creates specials through the “Chef’s Whim” program, a series of spur-of-the-moment creations like this classically sauced Italian fried chicken thigh. Pass the Parmesan!
Nashville Hot2
  • Greek lemon chicken thigh: Lemon, chicken and Greek flavors are meant to be together. At Marshall University’s Harless Dining Hall, this succulent chicken thigh is roasted with Greek herb and spices, bringing out its rich flavor, and then paired with bacon-herb green beans and roasted Greek potatoes.
  • Power bowl: Two chicken thigh dishes are student favorites at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va. First is this herb-grilled chicken thigh in a power bowl that’s featured at the Training Table dinner station for athletes.
  • Korean fried chicken: The “something different and spicy” chicken trend in all its forms (riffing on Nashville hot, Korean barbecue and Cajun flavors) is going strong. This menu item is another Liberty University favorite, found at Sodexo’s global fusion station: Korean fried chicken (fried in a pressure fryer) served with ramen and sautéed sugar snaps.


This article first appeared in Food Management on December 13, 208. 


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