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When temperatures/humidity rise in central Virginia, I spend time indoors…in air conditioning.
That is when I am not out weeding, mowing, and weeding some more. Surely, I mentioned before that I loathe Virginia summers. Although, Swallowtail Cottage is merely a half-acre, this small property demands regular attention during the growing season. This year so far, violent storms dump soaking rains which, in turn, nurture any weed seeds that blow in from my neighbors’ unkempt fields. Ah, life in the country. Hear the small violins playing?


This is the view many summer mornings through my casements in central Virginia. At least all that moisture is outside…thank angels for air conditioning.

Not only does my outdoor activity wane in July, my appetite follows suit. This past April, I began the Keto style of eating. Unwanted pounds had crept on my body and the food pyramid no longer works for me. Not only do I have more energy, I no longer graze, and cravings are a thing of the past. The best part, I no longer eat/miss sugar! AND I weigh five pounds less! 

The best part of this food shift is, I rediscovered my love of bacon and savor every bite at breakfast. I found a brand of organic, no sugar bacon and it is delicious! Mostly beef and eggs make up the rest of my protein.

This week, with temperatures in the 90’s and humidity in the 70’s, I remembered my recipe for Spiced Roasted Chicken Thighs, which appears in my recently published memoir. I will share it with followers here:


Begin with ten pieces of skinless, boneless, organic chicken thighs. This week I tried the Trader Joe’s brand, and they surpass Whole Foods offerings. I do not eat chicken skin (another story),  and I imagine this recipe could include skin if you indulge.

Spiced Roasted Chicken Thighs

Preheat oven to 450F. Shelf middle rack.

Open the packs of chicken, without rinsing, and place in a large bowl.

Place an assortment of your favorite bird herbs/spices over the thighs. I like a combination of salt, pepper, cumin, cardamom, paprika, curry, sage, thyme, NM red chile or any of these in any combination.

Using kitchen gloves, gently toss the spices with the thighs and place thighs top side down on a parchment lined sheet pan.

Melt 1/3 C. rendered bacon grease and distribute over all thighs.


Roast thighs for 15 minutes. Turn and roast another 15-20 minutes until internal temperature is 165F. Juices will render and when cooled, and make a delicious, savory jelly.


Is your mouth watering? Cool the thighs and enjoy as finger food, sliced over salads, or as a quick protein snack. This quantity lasts for days, held in the fridge, depending on the number of mouths fed.

Cold chicken on a hot/steamy day is just the ticket. Made in a large batch, this recipe saves time in the summer kitchen, and may be added to a schedule when the oven is already hot from other baking.

Bon Appetit!

PS: If you wonder why I write “do not rinse chicken” this trick prevents any contamination from sink splatter. Trust me, this works for any poultry. And using gloves makes easy the overall task of handling raw meat. Just dont touch anything outside the bowl until thighs are on the baking sheet. 😉

Let me know in the comments section how you like this recipe.

Copyright © 2019 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved