Module 2-3 Recipe: Donna’s pan-seared crispy chicken thighs

I made this for dinner with mashed potatoes, pan gravy, and roasted mixed vegetables. Make extra chicken for an easy chicken salad for lunch the next day.

I prefer to use bone-in chicken thighs with the skin on. I think the bone gives added flavor, and who doesn’t love crispy chicken skin?

Tools:
Ingredients:
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 ° F
  • Trim the fat and excess skin from the chicken thighs.
  • Thoroughly pat the chicken dry with a paper towel before seasoning, This will ensure a delicious crispy skin.**
  • Lift the skin (don’t pull it off) and season under the skin with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of the dried basil.
  • Sprinkle a little salt, pepper, and basil on the outside of the skin as well. Be sure to season both sides of the chicken
  • Heat skillet as you learned in Module 2-2 with the water drop test and add oil.
  • At the first wisp of smoke, add the chicken, skin-side down. You should hear a nice sizzle. Adjust the heat as necessary. (Listen to the food). You can use a splatter screen if you have one
  • Using a pair of tongs, turn the chicken after the skin browns. Brown the second side as well. (Don’t keep turning the chicken. You should turn ONLY once)
  • Once both sides are brown, place on a rack sitting inside a cooking sheet and put in a 350° F oven until done. This should take about 30 minutes.
  • Use an instant read thermometer to test for doneness. Chicken should be about 160 -165 F
  • Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.
Notes:

*  I used ghee for the nutty flavor. Peanut oil or any neutral flavored oil such as canola oil would also work. Just be sure that the oil you choose has a high smoke point. Butter or margarine would not work as it will burn  with the high heat required to get a brown, crispy skin.

** What is the secret to crispy skin? It is simple, be sure to pat the chicken dry with a paper towel before seasoning. Also never cook a partially frozen or frozen piece of chicken. This will make the chicken tough. Be sure that it is completely thawed prior to cooking. You can also season the thawed thighs and put them uncovered in the fridge for about an hour before cooking.

This is a great youtube video on cooking chicken thighs. He uses a cast-iron skillet,but the concept is the same for a stainless steel skillet.

3 ways to cook chicken thighs