These Cajun Chicken Thighs with Zesty Quinoa are quick enough for a weeknight meal, and delicious enough for a dinner party or backyard BBQ. Made with a simple rub of Cajun seasoning and served on a bed of fluffy quinoa, they're smoky spicy flavours are perfectly balanced.
Combine Cajun seasoning mix (my homemade mix is the best!) with olive oil and brush on both sides of the chicken thighs. You can let it marinate for an hour or more, or grill it immediately.
Grill over medium-high heat until almost cooked through, then turn and continue cooking on the other side until done. The chicken pieces should reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F. when measured with a meat thermometer. It's sometimes hard to overcook chicken thighs, unlike chicken breasts which can become dry and stringy.
Baked Cajun Chicken Thighs
Prefer to bake? Just follow the directions in #1 above, then arrange in a baking dish instead of grilling. Roast in the oven at 400° for about 20 minutes or until the thighs have reached an internal temperature of 165°F. when measured with an instant-read thermometer. If they are not ready, continue baking and checking the temperature every 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Once cooked, transfer to a serving dish and top with Cajun Chicken Thighs. Garnish with fresh oregano, if desired.
Instant Pot Directions to Cook Zesty Quinoa
Measure 1 cup quinoa into a strainer. Rinse it under cool running water to remove the natural coating, called saponin, that can make quinoa taste soapy. Add the quinoa, zest of 1 lime, 1.5 cups of water and a pinch of salt to the pressure cooker bowl.Close and lock the lid. Press Manual, then use the + or - button and choose 1 minute pressure cooking time. When it beeps, use the 10-Minute Natural Release method to allow the quinoa to continue cooking in the residual steam and heat. Let the Instant Pot go into "Keep Warm" mode and set a household timer for 10 minutes. Then press Cancel and turn the steam release handle on the lid to the "Venting" position. Open the lid once the steam has been released. Add the juice of one lime and extra salt, if desired. Fluff with a fork.
Stove Top Directions to Cook Zesty Quinoa
Measure 1 cup quinoa into a strainer. Rinse it under cool running water to remove the natural coating, called saponin, that can make quinoa taste soapy. Add the quinoa, zest of 1 lime, 1 ¾ cups of water and a pinch of salt to a medium saucepan.Cover and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, covered, for 15 minutes.Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes, covered. Then stir in the juice of one lime and extra salt to taste. Fluff with a fork.