This umami-rich skillet chicken thighs recipe was developed in partnership with Ajinomoto Co. Inc.
This 30-minute, one-pan, few-ingredient dish features the genius frying technique of Canal House’s new-classic chicken recipe with the classic flavor of Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. Impossibly crisp, juicy chicken thighs are topped with a tangle of garlic chips that are fried, quickly, in chicken fat. You only need four cloves for this version, but the flavor delivered seems like 40. Hit the dish with some acid, up the umami with a sprinkle of MSG, and you’re there—though a side salad of baby or bitter greens would also be great. Just toss the seasoned greens with the lemon and olive oil you already have out. If some garlic chips mosey to the salad, kismet!
We've partnered with Ajinomoto Co. Inc. to bring you a series of recipes, stories, and videos that celebrate the fifth taste: umami. You can boost this rich, savory essence in almost any dish (like this weeknight chicken!) by adding a dash of MSG, a safe-to-eat seasoning that's pure umami flavor. —Ali Slagle
Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, then season both sides with the salt and pepper and half of the MSG. Without heating the pan first, drizzle the olive oil into a large skillet, then add the chicken thighs, skin-side down.
Set over medium heat and cook, without moving them, until the skin is crisp and deep golden brown, about 15 minutes. Flip the thighs over and cook until the meat is cooked through, about 10 more minutes.
Transfer the chicken to serving plates. Return the pan with the schmaltz to the stove.
Set a coarse strainer over a heatproof bowl next to the stove. With the heat off, add the sliced garlic to the fat and arrange the slices in a single layer. Fry over medium, stirring often and scraping up brown bits, until the garlic is just golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the garlic chips into the strainer, then toss with the remaining MSG.
Sprinkle each chicken thigh with garlic chips and a squeeze of lemon (perhaps also a drizzle of the schmaltz if you’re feeling it).