One-Pot Wonders

The Garlicky, One-Skillet Chicken Thighs I’m Making Now & Forever

Complete with crispy, schmaltz-fried summer vegetables.

August 23, 2019
Photo by Rocky Luten

We've partnered with Lodge Cast Iron to celebrate their new Blacklock line of triple seasoned, lightweight skillets with a summer-ready recipe that makes the most of cast iron's magic: crispy chicken thighs with schmaltzy potatoes.

In case you haven't heard, we love chicken thighs around these parts. Crisped up with lots of lemon and garlic, braised with chopped tomatoes and fragrant herbs, roasted in the oven over a ratatouille-style vegetable medley. Any which way you can think of.

But my new personal favorite comes courtesy of our test kitchen director; his real name is Josh, but in honor of this recipe he shall henceforth be known as the Poultry Prince™.

Let me explain.

A few weeks ago, he shared with me a recipe for one-skillet chicken thighs with summer vegetables and it sounded nice, but not, you know, crazy amazing. Then I tried it at home. And I was, quite simply, so wrong.

The meat of the chicken thighs is unreasonably juicy while the skin is crispier and 100 percent more satisfying than your favorite potato chip. The veggies (potatoes, zucchini, cherry tomatoes) are tossed in the skillet at a staggered cooking time so they all reach the perfect level of doneness (tender but not mushy) by the time you're ready to serve.

Best of all, the whole thing is varnished in a schmaltzy, silky layer of chicken fat scented with plenty of garlic and one very important herb: oregano.

The fresh minced oregano brings a lot to this poultry party (sorry not sorry)—an earthy, assertive zing that, when coupled up with the garlic, reminds me of pizza in the best possible way—but it's not the only thing that makes this weeknight dinner truly a "winner winner."

The other key is a seasoned cast iron skillet. (If you're new to cast iron, here's everything you need to know.) It's the ultimate vessel for making ingredients (like say, chicken thighs) nice and crispy thanks to its nonstick superpowers and even heat retention.

Better yet, you can move it straight from the stovetop to the oven without having to worry about whether or not the handle is going to melt off. And as a sweet bonus, it's super easy to clean; typically, you'll need just hot water and a little elbow grease.

When you do decide to make these magical chicken thighs (because I know you will), there are two ways you can serve it, per the Poultry Prince™. If you're feeling breezy and laid-back, set that skillet right on the table and dig in.

But if you want an extra hit of bright, tangy flavor (who doesn't?), transfer the chicken thighs and veggies to a platter, add some lemon juice to the skillet, scrape up those yummy caramelized bits, and drizzle everything over top. Winner winner, indeed.

What's your favorite thing to cook in cast iron? Tell us in the comments below!

Most cast iron pans need a few rounds of seasoning before they reach their full nonstick potential—but not the skillets, griddles, and Dutch ovens from our partner Lodge Cast Iron's brand new Blacklock line. Each piece is triple seasoned so you can start cooking up your favorite recipes straight away (one-skillet chicken, anyone?), and lightweight for easy handling in and out of the kitchen. The Blacklock line of premium cast iron cookware is a must for home cooks and expert chefs alike. The best part: If you take good care of it, it'll last you a lifetime—and then some.

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The Dynamite Chicken cookbook is here! Get ready for 60 brand-new ways to love your favorite bird. Inside this clever collection by Food52 and chef Tyler Kord, you'll find everything from lightning-quick weeknight dinners to the coziest of comfort foods.

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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Brand Partnerships at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.