Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs by Rattaya Nagorski

Perfect Thighs1.jpg

When I come upon a recipe that deems itself to be perfect at something, I have to try it. I'm not saying I will make it just as well, but hey, I at least have to try it. It has been published in Bon Appetit, June 2011. And let me just say that the crown for the perfect pan-roasted chicken thigh does come from this recipe. The technique seems to be flawless and if you’re going to try it, stick to the minutes it suggests and you will be leaning back and enjoying a great meal.

This yields 2-4 main course meals. I have bought 2 1/2 lb worth of the chicken thighs, but it only had 4 pieces, but I stuck to the recipe. It was easy and the result was spectacular. The crispy skin was phenomenal. This recipe is in the top ten chicken recipes!

GET: 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2.5lb), salt and freshly ground pepper, 1 tbsp vegetable oil.

OPTIONAL: The magazine had a few options to amp up the dish, but the chicken thighs could stand alone. I put lemon slices and fresh thyme sprigs throughout the cooking process, but didn’t use the suggested white wine to make a bit of a sauce. I recommend the lemons and thyme, but that’s it.

Perfect Thighs2.jpg
Perfect Thighs3.jpg


  1. Preheat oven to 475°. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a 12″ heavy nonstick skillet (oven-safe) or a cast iron over high heat. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes.
  3. Add 1 lemon, thinly sliced, and 4 fresh thyme sprigs, if opting to, not mandatory. Reduce heat to medium-high; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearrange chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenlyy distribute the heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  4. 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.