Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

I absolutely love roast chicken, and this super simple method will not disappoint. The skin gets extra crisp and salty, plus you can be creative with all sorts of different pan sauces. This time I threw in some roasted cipollini onions, fresh thyme and a splash of white wine after removing the chicken from the oven.

Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

I’ve been making this recipe for years. It is quick enough for a weeknight dinner, but impressive enough for company too. Serve it up with some couscous, rice or mashed potatoes to soak up those lovely pan juices, and a simple salad or veggie. Perfection!

Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs


Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

Adapted, slightly, from Bon Appétit  
This simple method makes perfectly roasted chicken thighs every time. Easily change the flavors by adding in different ingredient combinations; there are several ideas at the bottom but feel free to be creative. I recommend serving this with rice, couscous or smashed potatoes to soak up the wonderful pan sauce. 
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Set one oven rack at the highest possible setting, and place a sheet of foil on top – I’ve found that this helps with oven smoke and spatter from roasting. Place the second rack directly in the middle of the oven. Pre-heat oven to 475°F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12″ cast-iron or heavy non-stick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes; if you have a splatter screen, I highly recommend using it. Reduce heat to medium-high; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.


A Few Fabulous Flavor Boosting Ideas…


Lemon and Thyme
Before transferring chicken to the oven, place thin slices of lemon and sprigs of fresh thyme to the pan. After baking, remove chicken from pan. Spoon off some of the chicken fat. Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine. Bring to a boil, and reduce slightly. To add extra richness, you can also add a tablespoon or two of butter. Spoon over chicken.
Rosemary and Garlic
Before transferring chicken to the oven, tuck fresh rosemary and whole garlic cloves between chicken. After baking, remove chicken from pan. Spoon off some of the chicken fat. Add 1/2 cup of  chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Spoon over chicken.
Mirin, Honey and Soy
This is excellent! After roasting, remove chicken from pan. Spoon off some of the chicken fat. Add 1 tablespoon each of mirin, honey and soy to the pan. Whisk until smooth. Spoon over chicken. My Asian Slaw goes excellent with these.



  1. Scott says

    I made this last night and it was superb. Thanks for the recipe.

    I was able to get 9 thighs for under $8.00, so it was inexpensive, too.

    I used salt, pepper, oil, (I added) bell pepper, and onion (during the medium-high heat phase) and it filled the house with incredible aromas. After it came out of the oven, I removed most of the accumulated drippings from the pan and then added some sorghum and teriyaki for the sauce/gravy. That sweet and salty combination can not be beat. Oh, and don’t get me started on the skin…the best part of the whole chicken, IMHO.

    Again, thanks for this suggestion and I’ll definitely be making this one many more times.

    • says

      Hmmm, not sure…did you notice that is was burned before or after going into the oven? Was just the skin burned or the entire thigh? The timing for the recipe is always dead on for me, but it’s also important to pay attention to the visual cues too, and adjust heat or time as needed.

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