I’ve learned that good things always happen when I combine chicken with buttermilk -- one of life’s important lessons. I doubled the amounts in the recipe for “Paprika Panko Crusted Chicken Thighs,” from For the Love of Cooking, because I knew that five delicious chicken thighs would not be enough to satisfy the three of us (I cooked nine instead). Chicken thighs, in my world, are guaranteed winners, from the start: moist and flavorful. Dipping into the buttermilk only amplifies the success, here.

When I doubled this recipe, there were too many breadcrumbs. Oh well. I’ve enjoyed this cooking method before, where the meat is placed atop a rack (atop a sheet of aluminum foil) on a baking tray. It’s good for crisping all the sides and it’s good for an easy cleanup, too. I drizzled olive oil over the breaded thighs, then baked them for 30 minutes, until they reached 170 degrees. The crumbs were pretty, though not too crispy (this wasn’t fried chicken, after all). Oh boy, we loved these.

I also made the “Zucchini Bake with Feta and Thyme,” from Kalyn’s Kitchen, in the same 375-degree oven. You know this seasonal scenario: zucchini is overflowing, abundant, and we need to eat it every day to maintain supermarket sanity. Only kidding. But this was easy to pull together. I sauteed my zucchini slices for 7 minutes, then baked my gratin for 45 minutes. Fresh thyme is always dreamy. I liked including eggs and sour cream and feta cheese and parmesan cheese. The final casserole wasn’t too watery. The thyme and feta were smart and not too overpowering. A good pairing for my chicken thighs.

Chicken Thighs (9) = $5.39
Yellow & Green Summer Squash (4) = $4.76
Feta Cheese (.43 lb.) = $2.97

RECIPES: a winning meal combo, thoughtful and satisfying
if you start working on the zucchini first, then work on the chicken 15 minutes later, this meal could come together in an hour
moist chicken, appealingly crumbed; zucchini, thyme, and feta play well together in a casserole

I want to remain on this chicken-thigh kick. Next time, I will make “Mom’s Spanish Chicken and Rice,” from Skinny Taste. You know I’m looking for a crowd-pleaser! Come back to my site soon, to see this meal.