Crispy Cast Iron Chicken Thighs


Tired of boring and bland chicken recipes? This cast iron chicken thighs recipe has a ton of flavor and will leave everyone with a clean plate. The thighs are seasoned, seared, then placed in the oven to get them satisfyingly crispy on the outside yet soft and juicy on the inside.  

Leave it to your trusty cast iron to get crispy chicken thighs that are full of delicious flavor! If you have ever struggled to achieve the perfect taste and texture for your chicken thighs, this amazing recipe will be your golden ticket to culinary heaven. All you need is a cast-iron skillet and a healthy appetite.

Cast Iron Chicken Recipe – What You Need

  • Bone-in chicken thighs: we recommend using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for the best results.
  • Seasoning mix: a mix of garlic powder, kosher salt, light brown sugar, black pepper, and paprika make this chicken super flavorful.
  • Avocado oil: a great heart-healthy oil with a high smoke point — perfect for the cast iron.
  • Butter: we used unsalted butter for this recipe. If you only have salted, go lighter on the salt for the chicken seasoning. 
  • Onion & garlic: these veggies are sautéed to make a flavorful base for baking the chicken.
  • Chicken broth: we used chicken broth to deglaze the pan and keep the inside of the chicken nice and moist.
  • Chives: our garnish of choice for the chicken — it really levels up the dish!

Can you use boneless chicken thighs for this recipe?

We do not recommend using boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. If you must use boneless thighs, skip the oven portion of the method and only sear the thighs on the stovetop, make the sauce, and return the thighs back to the pan and serve. 

Homemade Chicken Broth.

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Homemade Chicken Broth

Make this homemade chicken broth and use it in your favorite soup recipe! This broth is the most flavorful chicken broth on the internet. You can use it in soups, chilis, sauces, and more!

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FAQs

Why use a cast iron skillet for cooking chicken thighs?

Cast iron skillets provide even heat distribution and retain heat well, resulting in a crispy, evenly cooked exterior. They’re also oven-safe, allowing for versatile cooking methods.

How do I prevent chicken from sticking to the cast iron pan?

Properly heating the pan and using enough cooking fat (such as oil or butter) can help prevent sticking. Also, allowing the chicken to naturally release from the pan rather than forcing it can help.

Can I use boneless thighs instead of bone-in for this recipe?

Technically yes, but bone-in thighs generally have more flavor and tend to be juicier. If using boneless thighs, skip the bake time that this recipe calls for.

Top Tips for Cast Iron Chicken Thighs Recipe

Avoid placing the chicken thighs on the pan cold. This may cause the chicken to stick to the hot cast iron skillet.

We do not recommend using boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. If you must use boneless thighs, skip the oven portion of the recipe. You’ll only need to sear the thighs on the stovetop, make the sauce, and return the thighs back to the pan before serving.

Season the chicken thighs well. Generously rubbing the seasoning into the skin will give you more flavor and a better crust on your finished dish.

Chicken internal temperture

According to the USDA, the safe cooking temperature for poultry is 165ºF.

Let rest: Remember that after cooking chicken let it rest for 5 minutes so that the internal temperature can continue to rise around 5ºF.

Storage

Store any leftover chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. 

To reheat, place in the oven at 350°F and bake until heated through or when the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Serving Suggestions

These cast iron chicken thighs have so much flavor you could easily enjoy them on their own. However, these bold flavors pair wonderfully with a good neutral side dish like our Sticky Rice and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This skillet chicken recipe also tastes fantastic with complimentary flavors like our Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, Roasted Broccoli, and Balsamic Sea Salt Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Chicken thighs in a skillet with sauce and herbs.

Crispy Cast Iron Chicken Thighs

Savor the deliciously crispy texture of these cast iron chicken thighs, seasoned with a flavorful spice blend, then pan-seared and oven-baked to perfection in a rich buttery sauce with minced onion and garlic, all topped with fresh chives, for a dish that’s sure to impress.

Prep:20 minutes

Cook:30 minutes

Total:50 minutes

Fat 44

Carbs 5

Protein 28

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs. bone-in chicken thighs ~4 thighs
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground paprika
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ medium white onion minced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced chives

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and mix the dry rub. Add the garlic powder, salt, sugar, pepper, and paprika into a small dish and mix to combine. Season the chicken thighs with a dry rub on both sides. Pat the dry rub into the chicken and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

  • Heat avocado oil in a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs skin-side-down to the skillet.* Cook the chicken thighs for 6-7 minutes, jostling them with tongs a few times to be sure the skin isn’t sticking to the pan.

  • Flip the chicken and sear for 2 minutes (the chicken will not be fully cooked). Remove the chicken from the pan and remove the pan from the heat.

  • Leave the chicken drippings in the pan. Turn the heat to medium/low and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the onion to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 more minute.

  • Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and stir all of the ingredients together.

  • Transfer the chicken back into the pan and place the pan into the oven.

  • Bake the chicken for 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.

  • Remove the chicken from the oven and turn the chicken a few times in the sauce or spoon the sauce on top of the chicken thighs.

  • Garnish the chicken with the fresh chives and serve.

Tips & Notes

  • Make sure you do not put the chicken thighs in the skillet cold, which may cause the chicken to stick to the hot pan.
  • We do not recommend using boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. If you must use boneless thighs, skip the oven portion of the method and only sear the thighs on the stovetop, make the sauce, and return the thighs back to the pan and serve.

Nutrition facts

Calories: 529kcal Carbohydrates: 5g Protein: 28g Fat: 44g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 2g



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