Cast Iron Chicken Thighs – Beyond The Chicken Coop

Chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet.
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Delicious and crispy chicken thighs are easy to make and perfect for weeknight dinners. These Cast Iron Chicken Thighs are started on the stovetop and finished in the oven.

Ready in just 30 minutes means dinner is ready in no time at all!

Crispy chicken thighs on a white plate.

Crispy chicken thighs

There’s just something so delicious about crispy chicken. This chicken has such crispy skin but it’s not deep fried like you’d get with fried chicken.

This Cast Iron Chicken Thighs recipe is cooked with just a touch of oil to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan. The chicken thighs are cooked in a hot cast iron skillet which helps create that crispiness.

It’s a little like fried chicken, without all the oil!

The chicken is started on the stove, skin side down. Once the chicken is browned, you flip it over and then place the entire skillet into a hot oven.

After 15-20 minutes, the chicken is done and is perfectly cooked! I told you this recipe was easy peasy!

Chicken thighs are a great choice for this recipe because the dark meat has a ton of flavor. Thighs are usually a bit on the fattier side and as the chicken is cooking, the fat is rendered out leaving the thighs nice and juicy but not greasy.

This recipe is easy to double, as long as you have two cast iron skillets.

Key ingredients

Chicken thighs next to a bowl of seasoning.
  • Chicken thighs – bone in and skin on
  • Seasoning – salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Feel free to add other seasonings, if you prefer. Some options include rubbed sage, dried thyme and rosemary.

Step by step directions

  • Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel
  • Mix salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika together
  • Sprinkle seasoning over all sides of chicken thighs
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When hot add enough olive oil to just cover the surface.
  • Add chicken, skin side down. Don’t touch or turn for at least 5 minutes.
  • Once nicely browned on skin side, turn chicken over and place cast iron skillet into a preheated 400°F oven for 15-20 minutes until fully cooked through
  • Remove cast iron and let chicken cool for 5 minutes
  • Serve hot

recipe tips

  • Be certain to pat your chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. This helps ensure the skin will crisp up nicely.
  • Use a cast iron skillet that’s large enough for all of your chicken. You don’t want the chicken packed tightly into the skillet or they will have difficulty browning and will take longer to cook.
  • Make certain oven is fully preheated to 400°F
  • Heat your cast iron skillet over medium to medium high heat. Once hot, add oil and then chicken.
  • Do not let your pan become smoking hot. If this happens, reduce heat and remove pan briefly from heat until smoking stops.
  • A very small amount of oil is added to the pan before adding the chicken to help prevent sticking and promote browning. As the chicken cooks, the fat from the chicken will render out into the pan.
  • Ensure your chicken is fully cooked by testing with a digital thermometer. The internal temperature needs to reach at least 165°F.
  • Leftover chicken should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and used within 3-4 days. The skin loses its crispness after refrigeration.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use a different cut of chicken besides thighs?

Yes, this recipe can be made with any cut of chicken. You will need to adjust cooking times if using different cuts.

Can I make cast iron chicken ahead of time?

This chicken is best served hot out of the oven so cooking ahead of time isn’t advised. Once cool and refrigerated, the skin loses its crispness.

serving suggestions

This crispy chicken goes with just about any side dish. Some of our favorites include:

More chicken dishes

Chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Be certain to check out all my main dish recipes!

Crispy chicken thighs on a white plate.

Cast Iron Chicken Thighs

Kathy

Chicken thighs browned in a cast iron skillet and finished in the oven.

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Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 25 mins

Total Time 30 mins

Race main dish

Kitchen American

Servings 4 people

calories 281 calories

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F

  • Pat chicken dry with a paper towel

    4 chicken thighs

  • Combine spices together

    1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon paprika

  • Sprinkle all sides of chicken with spice mixture. (You may have some extra)

  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When skillet is hot, add oil.

    1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Add chicken, skin side down and cook until nicely browned (5-8 minutes). Do not move or rotate chicken until browned.

  • Flip chicken over and place skillet in preheated 400°F oven for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

  • Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.

Ratings

  • Be certain to pat your chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. This helps ensure the skin will crisp up nicely.
  • Use a cast iron skillet that’s large enough for all of your chicken. You don’t want the chicken packed tightly into the skillet or they will have difficulty browning and will take longer to cook.
  • Make certain oven is fully preheated to 400°F
  • Heat your cast iron skillet over medium to medium high heat. Once hot, add oil and then chicken.
  • Do not let your pan become smoking hot. If this happens, reduce heat and remove pan briefly from heat until smoking stops.
  • A very small amount of oil is added to the pan before adding the chicken to help prevent sticking and promote browning. As the chicken cooks, the fat from the chicken will render out into the pan.
  • Ensure your chicken is fully cooked by testing with a digital thermometer. The internal temperature needs to reach at least 165°F.
  • Leftover chicken should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and used within 3-4 days. The skin loses its crispness after refrigeration.

Nutrition Disclaimer:

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. To obtain the most precise nutritional information in a provided recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the exact ingredients you are using when preparing the recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1thighcalories: 281caloriesCarbohydrates: 1gprotein: 18gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 669mgPotassium: 242mgfiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 151UIVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg

Keyword cast iron chicken, chicken thighs

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