Thursday, June 23, 2011

Crispy Skin Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs

I debated about posting this recipe because the night I made this was not a good night in the kitchen. They were so good though, and so adaptable, that I had to share. I have suggested some modifications to the method I used which involved a big mess (use a lid!) and a bad burn on my hand, right in the tender area where my thumb and forefinger come together (don't grab the pan after you pull it out of the oven!) so I hope it works better for you than it did for me. I served these with mashed potatoes and some yummy baked spinach which I'm sure will make an appearance on the blog once I get the recipe right. This recipe was adapted from the most recent issue of Bon Appetit and I'm happy to report that other commenters on the online version had the same issues as me with the mess. I really think that using a lid to cover the pan as you're cooking will remedy this though so don't be afraid to try it out. Try out other flavor combinations for the sauce too. Bon Appetit suggested using lemon slices and thyme sprigs instead of the garlic and rosemary, or you could go plain and simple and just use the chicken broth and maybe add a little dijon mustard. Hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 2

  • 3-4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 3 tsp each kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 springs fresh rosemary
  1. Preheat your oven to 475
  2. Trim off any excess fat from your chicken thighs (any large pieces hanging off by themselves really) and pat dry.
  3. Season with 3 tsp each kosher salt and pepper.
  4. Heat your 1 TBSP olive oil over high heat in a large, heavy skillet that is oven safe. I used a stainless steel pan and it worked great. Bon Appetit suggested cast iron. Just make sure there is no plastic on the handle and you should be good. You also will need a lid that will cover the pan, or you could use a large piece of foil if you need to improvise.
  5. Smash your garlic cloves with the side of a knife, but don't peel them. Set them aside with your rosemary springs.

  1. After the oil heats for a couple of minutes, add your chicken thighs with the skin face down on the pan.

  2. Cook on high for 2 minutes without moving the chicken. Cover with a lid if it starts to splatter.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-high and continue cooking skin side down on the stove for 12 minutes. I set a timer here. While cooking, you want to cover the pan with a lid, but remove it every few minutes so you can move your chicken thighs around with some tongs. You're looking to get the skin really crispy here so you want it to crisp up evenly.
  4. Once your skin is nice and brown (see the pic!), add your garlic cloves and rosemary springs. Leave the chicken on the skin side though.
  5. Put your lid on and transfer your skillet to oven and cook for 13 more minutes. I set the timer again here.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and flip the chicken so the skin side is up.
  7. Recover the pan and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven again and move your chicken thighs to a plate while you make the sauce. Be sure not to handle the skillet - it is HOT!
  9. Spoon off some of the grease from the pan until you're left with about 1 TBSP of grease, along with the rosemary and garlic.
  10. Add your 1/2 cup chicken broth to the skillet. The skillet should still be hot, but go ahead and set it over medium high heat to get the sauce to boil for a couple of minutes as you scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. The sauce should be light brown and thin - not thick like a gravy. Sorry I did not get a pic here - I was still traumatized by the burn.
  11. Serve chicken with sauce spooned over the top.

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