Juicy, tender chicken thighs with a golden-crisp skin are possible with just a spoonful of oil and a bit of patience. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting while they slowly cook on the stove-top. You want the skin to be golden-brown with all the fat rendered before you turn them over. This chicken is completely worth the wait!
This recipe has become a staple in my house over the past few months. I made this chicken at least once a week for the first couple of months and I still make it once or twice a month. The chicken turns out perfectly every single time. My kids now ask for the "crispy skin chicken" every time they see me purchasing chicken.
Perfect Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs
method adapted from Canal House Cooks
Yield: 4 servings
1 tablespoon coconut oil or light flavored olive oil
4-6 chicken thighs, depending on size (4 large pieces fill my skillet)
freshly ground black pepper
Optional spices: garlic and paprika
Pour the oil into a large stainless or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. (A non-stick skillet will work as well, although it isn't required.) Generously sprinkle the skin side of the chicken thighs with spices and then place them in the hot skillet, skin side down. Sprinkle the other side of the thighs and then, without moving them, cook uncovered* for about 20-25 minutes. Let them cook until the fat has rendered and the skin is deep golden brown and crisp; this could take as long as 30 minutes.
If the skin is sticking to the pan, it likely isn't finished on that side. Reduce the heat as needed if the skin starts to burn before it is evenly golden brown. Turn the thighs over and continue to cook for about 20 more minutes. When the meat closest to the bone is cooked through, the chicken is done. Enjoy!
* A splatter-screen for your skillet and a bowl of vinegar set next to the stove will cut down on both the mess and the lingering aroma of this recipe through the rest of the night!
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