Monday, January 14, 2013

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Thyme

In the last couple of months I’ve had chicken thighs in a variety of dishes and they were delicious.  The only way I’ve made chicken thighs is BBQ’d on the grill.  The thigh has so much flavor that I think I need to deviate from the breast and move to the thigh more often.  Wow, that sounded kind of dirty.  Anyway… when reading through my recent issue of Bon Appétit, this recipe jumped out at me and I couldn’t wait to try it.    

Original Recipe:

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano

Want super-crisp chicken without having to add much fat? Start with a room-temperature pan: As the skillet becomes hot, the chicken skin will gradually render its fat, becoming browned and crackling.

4 servings

  • Active: 20 minutes
  • Total: 30 minutes

Recipe by: The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen; December 2012


  • 1 lemon
  • 4 large or 8 small skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 sprigs oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth 


  • Preheat oven to 425°. Very thinly slice half of lemon; discard any seeds. Cut remaining lemon half into 2 wedges. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  • Coat a large room-temperature skillet with 1 teaspoon oil. Add chicken, skin side down. Place skillet over medium heat and cook, letting skin render and brown, and pouring off excess fat to maintain a thin coating in pan, until chicken is cooked halfway through, about 10 minutes.
  • Scatter half of lemon slices over chicken and half on bottom of skillet (the slices on top of the chicken will soften; those in the skillet will caramelize). Transfer skillet to oven, leaving chicken skin side down. Roast until chicken is cooked through, skin is crisp, and lemon slices on bottom of skillet are caramelized, 6-8 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken pieces, skin side up, and caramelized lemon slices from bottom of skillet to a warm platter. (Leave softened lemon slices in the skillet.) Return skillet to medium heat. Add oregano sprigs, shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Remove skillet from heat. Add wine; cook over medium heat until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Add broth; cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Squeeze 1 lemon wedge over and season sauce with salt, pepper, and juice from remaining lemon wedge, if desired. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil. Return chicken to skillet, skin side up, to rewarm. Serve topped with caramelized lemon slices.

My version:  I actually followed the recipe exactly, except for one thing.  I did not have oregano so I used fresh thyme instead.  It was excellent and I would use thyme again. 

Look at that crispy, crispy skin.

Starting the sauce.

Verdict: This dish was delicious.  My husband agreed.  Here are some of the things he said when he sat down and throughout the meal. 

  • “Wow, this looks and smells amazing.”  
  • “Oh my gosh, this chicken is so tender and flavorful; you cooked it perfectly.”  
  • “If I was eating this at a restaurant, I would say that we definitely need to visit more often and  put it down as a favorite.”  
  • “Please don’t lose this recipe, and please make it again soon.” 
I guess he agreed with my verdict?  

Sides: The reason I used thyme is because I had it on hand from the side dish I made with the chicken: Mini Herbed Pommes Anna.  These potatoes deserve a post of their own and will follow this post.  SO GOOD!  I also made a pear, blue cheese, pecan, and arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

Pairings:  I paired this with Huia Pinot Gris from New Zealand.  It was an excellent pairing.  The hint of lemon in the wine complimented the flavors of the dish really well.

It isn’t that often when a meal completely comes together but this was spot on.   Everything was fantastic.   You should make this soon.  


(2013 New Recipe #1)

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