To Sear or Not to Sear - That is my ?

I marinated these chicken thighs overnight in olive oil, parsley, garlic, sugar, cayenne and paprika...I want to roast them in my cast iron skillet in the oven, but every recipe says to sear them first...So do I just pull them out of the Foodsaver bag and sear them with the marinade on them or wipe them dry and discard the marinade? ...oh and what temp for how long - covered or uncovered...or should I braise them???

  • Posted by: Divo
  • February 1, 2020
Question image


Lori T. February 1, 2020
The first rule in getting a good sear is to start with dry meat. If you leave the marinade on, or try to sear in the marinade, all you will do is steam fry it- and you won't get the nice browning you would expect. You also want to be sure your cast iron pan is very well seasoned before you start, so the marinade doesn't leach out anything to give you a nasty taste. I can't tell if your thighs have the skin on them or not- I'm going to assume they do. So, to cook them- take them out of the marinade and pat them dry. Heat your oven to 425F. Heat your skillet with a couple tablespoons of the oil of your choice, over medium high heat until it is pretty toasty hot, but not smoking. Put the thighs in skin side down and leave them in peace for about 5-7 minutes. Flip them over, and sear the bottom to get a somewhat browned look. Then transfer the whole thing to your preheated oven. They will take about another 20-25 minutes to cook through, check with an instant read thermometer and remove when the internal temp hits 165F. This should give you a nice crispy skin, and nice juicy meat. Don't worry too much if you go a bit higher on the final bake temperature, thighs are pretty forgiving. Remove them from the pan to serve. If you want, you can use the marinade as a sauce- just boil it a few minutes in a saucepan and serve on the side. Be sure to wipe out your skillet well after removing the chicken, and do the usual cast iron clean and oil cleanup.
Divo February 1, 2020
Thanks so much...I got your reply after I tried to wing (thigh) it...and I did a combination of what you suggested and Gammy below...So far so good...
Gammy February 1, 2020
I think you are OK with not wiping them dry as this is an oil-based marinade, not a water-based one. Heat your oven to 400-425 degrees. Heat a cast iron frying pan on the stove top over med-high heat and when hot, add the thighs skin-side down and let sear for 10-15 minutes. You want a nice brown color on the skin side then put the frying pan and chicken into the hot oven uncovered and roast for another 15 minutes or so, flip so thighs are skin-side up and let the bottoms brown a bit. Temp with an instant-read thermometer... you want chicken to be at least 165 degrees. As for the marinade.... I don't think you would want to use it, although you might be able to add lemon juice and some dijon mustard to a bit of it and COOK until it is reduced to a thick sauce DO NOT USE THE MARINADE AS IS WITHOUT COOKING. Even then, I might hesitate. Enjoy!
Divo February 1, 2020
Thanks Gammy for your response...I winged (thighed) it and so far so good...
Thanks Lori & Gammy!!!
Recommended by Food52