Crispy Skinned Chicken Thighs with Garlic, Lemon, and Rosemary
I usually don’t like eating chicken skin, even when it is perfectly crispy. Yes, I am aware that this is weird. I will occasionally eat some of it, especially with recipes such as this, but usually, Jelani ends up with extra pieces of crispy skin. Lucky him!
This recipe is a blank canvas for flavors and add-ons like vegetables. Start with some bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and a large cast-iron pan. If you don’t have cast iron, use another pan that can go from stove to oven and can evenly brown foods.
Also, grab an onion (thinly sliced), lemon (thinly sliced), one head of garlic (peeled with cloves kept whole), some white wine, a few sprigs of rosemary, and whatever veggies you wish to add. Pick veggies that all have similar cook times in the oven. I included a small head of purple cauliflower (cut into florets), some carrots (cut into chunks), and a few potatoes (cut in chunks).
Sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of the chicken while the cast iron pan eats up over medium heat. This is also a good time to turn your oven on to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When you just start to see tiny wisps of smoke coming off the pan, it is ready. Place the chicken skin-side down in the hot pan (no oil needed). Now comes the hard part – do not touch for 10 minutes! Seriously, don’t touch it at all. Set the timer if you must. But don’t touch it. Otherwise, it won’t look as good as this:
Use those 10 minutes to start slicing an onion and lemon, peeling a head of garlic, and chopping any other veggies you want to include. If you did all of this previously as prep work, go ahead and enjoy a glass of wine as you wait patiently. You want the fat in the skin to start rendering out which will make the skin crispy and leave you with schmaltz (a.k.a. chicken fat) to cook your veggies in.
After 10 minutes or until the skin has started to brown, remove the chicken, leaving the schmaltz behind, and add in some splashes of white wine to deglaze (about a quarter of a cup or so). You can also use chicken stock. Add in the onions, lemon, rosemary, and whole garlic cloves and let cook for a minute or two.
Add in the chopped vegetables and a pinch or two of salt (and pepper if you’d like, I do) and stir to ensure everything is evenly coated in schmaltz, wine, and seasonings. Nestle the four pieces of chicken in between the veggies, skin-side up. Put the cast iron pan into the oven and cook for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Side note: I added a lot of vegetables so mine took closer to 50 – 55 minutes to fully cook through. If you hardly include anything else in the pan, your chicken may take less than 40 minutes.
Per my husband’s request, I also made rice. And per my request, I sauteed chard with garlic and another splash of wine (“wine” not?). Enjoy!