Recipe: $3.50 | Per Serving: $0.88 | Yield: 4 Servings
Remember when you thought you didn't like chicken? Think again, my friends. Think again. You need these deliciously crispy crispy chicken thighs in your life. Like, immediately.
In October, our lovely Peruvian friend, Maria was here for a week, and at the same time, my sister and her husband were in the area for a business trip. We decided to have a family dinner one evening and it was SO MUCH FUN.
The point of this story is that it was the first time I made this super-incredibly-fantastically easy recipe for Crispy Stovetop Chicken Thighs. And it also inspired the super-delicious Stovetop Coconut Chicken. I first used this Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs recipe at Barefeet In The Kitchen to get a method, and ran with it!
This dish is great for serving guests because you can start cooking it early, and then flip it when all the guests have arrived. As they get settled with drinks and such, the chicken can finish cooking. I have made this no less than 10 times and it always comes out perfectly.
How to Make Crispy Stovetop Chicken (Thighs)
For this recipe, you basically just need chicken thighs with the skin on, and some seasonings. No oil. Salt the skin. Cook them, skin-side down until all the fat has rendered.
Then flip 'em and cook another 10-15 minutes. Feast! You can cover the pan to speed up the cooking time and reduce the splatter, but the steam softens the skin too much for my preference. It's still good, but not as crispy. Also, if you walk away and forget you're cooking, you might have a few overcooked skins! Oops!
Can I Use Bone-In Thighs to Make Crispy Chicken?
Japanese people know how to keep good food delicious. In the U.S. where we seem to love skinless thighs and chicken breasts, it can be harder to find skin-on boneless chicken thighs. However, you can still cook this dish with the bone-in thighs, they just might take a little longer.
To use bone-in thighs, I'd follow the recipe as written with one minor change. After flipping, add at least 5-10 minutes of additional cooking time to make sure it is properly cooked through.
Or, if you're up for it, you can use some sharp kitchen shears (scissors) to cut out the bones and then just use them for stock. I would certainly not recommend using breasts for this dish as the recipe is written, but I'm sure you could do something similar on a lower heat.
We paired our first Crispy Stovetop Chicken Thighs with Parmesan Garlic Rice (with spinach mixed in) for our family feast, but I've made it about 700 times since then, and it's great on salad, by itself, dipped in sauce, and on sandwiches. Enjoy!
How to Make Crispy Stovetop Chicken Thighs
- 1 pound chicken thighs skin-on
- paprika basil, or black pepperm optional seasoning
- Cut the chicken thighs into serving-size pieces (optional). I cut mine in 3-inch hunks. Salt the chicken, especially the skin side.
- Warm a large pan (preferably with deep sides) to about medium to medium-low heat on the stove. Place the chicken, skin-side-down, in the pan. It’s okay to crowd it.
- Season the top of the thighs (in the pan), with whatever you desire. I usually do just a bit of basil, paprika, chili powder, and freshly ground pepper.
- Cook uncovered and undisturbed until the fat from the chicken skin has rendered off completely. The chicken should be sizzling, but not spattering too much. If it is spattering, turn the heat down. This takes between 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken pieces. The skin should be crispy and dark brown, but not black.
- Reduce the heat slightly, and flip the chicken. Let cook undisturbed another 10-15 minutes, or until it is cooked through. I usually let it cook for about 10 minutes, then pull off the thickest piece to check it.
- Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and let rest a couple of minutes before slicing and serving.
It is not necessary to cut the chicken thighs first. I’ve cooked them whole with no problems at all, it just takes a little bit longer.
I recommend serving this with a caesar salad or tangy lemon-basil arugula salad. Crispy chicken + tangy dressing and fresh greens is delicious!