Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Perfect Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs

Perfect Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs recipe by Barefeet In The KitchenJuicy, 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
(printable recipe)

1 tablespoon coconut oil or light flavored olive oil
4-6 chicken thighs, depending on size (4 large pieces fill my skillet)
kosher salt
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!

Perfect Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen



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ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Chicken Marsala

51 comments:

  1. The bowl of vinegar trick sounds great - I am going to give it a try. I love a good piece of chicken and can see why your family loves this recipe. Have a wonderful day miss Mary!

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  2. I almost always put my burner too high, I have to remember - medium and give it plenty of time!

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  3. Perfection!! My mom used to make a lot of pan-fried chicken when we were kids... I have such a love for it, although I very rarely ever make it. I need to change that for sure! The chicken looks amazing.

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  4. I'm finally just beginning to come over to the dark side...I've been a white meat girl all my life! These look great...and can't live without my splatter screen :)

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    1. I crossed over to the dark side a few years ago and I will never go back. I LOVE the darker meat now. I use breasts for specific recipes, but not as a staple. Welcome to the more delicious side of chicken!

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    2. This recipe does not say ANYTHING about the fact that after 20 minutes in the pan at medium to medium-low heat, guess what!? It sticks. The skin is a nice golden brown, sure, but it's no longer on the chicken. I might as well have bough boneless skinless at this point. Thanks a lot.

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    3. I've made this chicken countless times over the past year and that does not happen with ours. Did you use the full amount of oil? Did you cook them until the fat was rendered and the skin was crisp? If you turn them too early, that might cause it to stick. I'm very sorry to hear that it didn't work for you.

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    4. How rude! *said like Michelle Tanner from Full House*

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  5. Love how simple this is. Sometimes it's the low frills recipe that taste the best!

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  6. OK... so even in a well-seasoned cast iron pan, I have trouble with the skin sticking. Does this mean I've got it too hot?

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    1. It could be a couple of different things. If I try to move the chicken before it is starting to turn brown, it occasionally sticks. Once the fat has rendered though, it usually doesn't. You could try adding a bit more oil next time as well. If you slide a spatula under the chicken initially, instead of lifting straight up with a pair of tongs, that might help prevent the skin from sticking to the pan as well.

      I hope that helps!

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    2. Thanks Mary, I'll give it a try and see if I can make it work.

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  7. I never heard the vinegar trick!

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  8. This chicken looks perfect, no wonder your kids ask for this chicken.

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  9. That chicken looks so amazing. So moist and perfectly pan fried which is truly an art!

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  10. Wow, that last picture is cook book perfect! Gorgeous.

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  11. Would this work with drumsticks?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I have made this with drumsticks. Enjoy!

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    2. does the cooking time cut down?

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  12. what temp did you use on the stove?

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  13. This is now in regular rotation. We L O V E it! Thanks for the recipe.

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  14. What about vinegar, I didn't see it.

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    Replies
    1. A small bowl of vinegar set next to the stove will help reduce the lingering aroma of fried chicken after you're done cooking. It's completely optional.

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  15. Super easy Mary! Sharing on my page later today and pinning, thanks friend. ~ Melissa@melissassouthernstylekitchen

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  16. hi Mary This would be my first time giving this a try. I do not have olive oil can I substitute soft Fred cant believe its not butter?

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  17. Hi Mary, I meant soft spread butter or canolia oil.

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  18. I actually used them I can't believe its Not butter spread and it turned out wonderfully!!!!! Great dish.

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  19. can I make pan gravy from drippings?

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    1. Sure. I don't know why not. It should be fine.

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  20. What is the yellowish side dish on your photo? Please say grits! If they are, did you do anything specia to them?

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    1. That is polenta. (almost grits!) Here is the recipe: http://www.barefeetinthekitchen.com/2013/04/paprika-manchego-polenta-recipe.html Enjoy!

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    2. Mary, I truly believe this is one of the best recipes 'EVER'. I paired it with polenta and carmelized mushrooms and onions. As I'm trying to write this, my wife keeps asking, 'can we have this tomorrow? Can we? Pleeeeeeze?

      You are becoming my favored 'recipe resource'. The flourless chocolate brownie cookies are absolutely decadent.

      I'm not sure how I found you, but I'm surely glad I did!

      Thanks, again

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  21. Don't know why I'm bothing but.

    This recipe burns chicken skin in the pan because the chicken skin sticks, then doesn't cook the actual chicken long enough to eat.


    25 minute total cook time on bone-in thighs?

    This exact recipe is copied on many different cooking blogs. Web content producers are funny that way.

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    1. If you care to read the entire recipe, the full cooking time is almost a full hour. 25 minutes on one side, when the fat has rendered and the first side is crisp (and not at all stuck to the pan) turn the chicken over and cook the other side. I hope that helps. It's hardly even a recipe, more of a method and it works beautifully.

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  22. Just made these and they came out great! For those with sticking issues, know that even when the fat of the skin is rendered, it is not a clean release. Due to my grill experience, I anticipated having to scrape/slide a metal spatula under the thigh to loosen it a bit before flipping. It can be delicate, especially if you trimmed any of the excess fat off the meat. The larger point is that if you try to move the chicken at any time before that point - forget it- the skin's coming off.
    Also, I used an overnight dry rub of seasoned salt, black pepper, and garlic powder that use for most of my chicken dishes. Delicious!
    Thanks for this, the fam loved it!

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  23. I made this tonight and it came out perfectly. I didn't have any olive oil so I used butter. Seemed to work pretty well. Thanks.

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  24. Just made this tonight and mine got a liiiiiiitle crispy, but even extra crispy they were delicious! I'll have to cook on low next time to get that beautiful golden brown. Thank you!

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  25. Oh man, these chicken thighs are amazing! I used 1.5 tbs coconut oil bc I was paranoid from other reviews. They came out perfectly! They didn't stick at all.. it was a 100% "clean release" in terms of VinKong up there. So, his/her statement isn't true for everyone. Thank you for sharing!

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  26. This recipe was spot on. Thank you.

    Also, I made a few very Sri Lankan changes. Instead of the usual 1 tbsp of Coconut oil, I added 4. ( we Sri Lankans love our coconut oil :D )
    And marinated the chicken in a bit of tamarind mixed with water, lime, paprika and pepper.

    You could also try using a deep fryer. It's faster and the sides are all equally cooked.

    Thank you ! :D

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  27. Like so many others, I was never a fan of chicken thighs because I always thought of them as fatty and greasy and "cheap for a reason". I bought a package of bone-in thighs a few weeks ago and tried this recipe. WOW! I was absolutely blown away. I used a non-stick skillet and vegetable oil and had no problems with the chicken sticking to the pan. I think patience is key, you really have to wait a full 20-30 minutes until the fat has rendered. Crispy, juicy, delicious. Thanks for turning me on to the proper way to cook chicken thighs! (I'm doing it again tonight, for company :)

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  28. I happened across this recipe and made it for my roomies last night with a bunch of groceries I needed to use up. YUM! This has gone in to my Evernote recipes that I use all the time.

    I was a bit paranoid about the chicken sticking, based on the other complaints, so I used a non-stick pan and too much olive oil. I'll cut it down to the recommended amount next time and otherwise continue to follow the recipe exactly.

    I don't normally comment on blog posts, but I just had to say how happy this makes me!

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  29. Will it work as well with boneless thighs?

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    1. The skin is required for the skillet method. If you manage to find boneless thighs that are skin on, it might work, just reduce the cooking time and watch it closely.

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  30. Followed this recipe to a T the other day. I used my cast iron skillet, let the thighs sit until the fat was rendered....no problems on the flip....delicious, delicious, delicious. Thanks!

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  31. I live on the eastern shore of Maryland and we use Old Bay Spice on crabs, shrimp and chicken as it's popular here. I sprinkled old bay on both sides and followed the directions. It was amazing. My kids loved it.

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  32. I am currently making this and have had no problems with sticking. I did however have to adjust the cooking temp as the skin did get a little darker then I would have liked. I am really excited to try it!

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  33. I sent my hubby to get chicken breasts. He came home with thighs. I thought dinner was ruined until I found your recipe. Wow! We loved it! I think we have just found a new favorite chicken dish. Thanks for sharing!

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  34. My husband loves dark meat chicken, I am so paranoid about food poisoning and have never cooked bone in thighs on the stove top. I usually season them up and roast them in the oven. I will definitely be trying this tonight with some crispy potatoes, corn on the cob and country biscuits. Sounds delish, thank you mary! (Ps, my name is mary too. I'll take that as a good sign lol)

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