Jacques Pépin's Crunchy Skillet Chicken Thighs With Zucchini

July 26, 2019
2 Ratings
Photo by Tom Hopkins
Author Notes

"I love dark chicken meat, and Shorey’s and my favorite is from the thigh. In this recipe, chicken thighs are cooked skin side down, covered, in a skillet for about 30 minutes. They don’t need to be turned over because covering the pan creates steam that cooks the chicken through. To further help in the cooking, I make a ¾-inch cut with a knife along both sides of each thigh bone. Then the fat that comes out of the chicken is used to sauté the zucchini for just a few minutes. Whenever possible, use organic chicken." —Jacques Pépin

Excerpted from A Grandfather's Lessons: In the Kitchen With Shorey © 2017 by Jacques Pépin. Photography © 2017 by Tom Hopkins. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.Food52

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • 2 large chicken thighs (about 1 pound), preferably organic
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 firm zucchini (about 8 ounces), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced (1/4-inch) dried tomatoes
In This Recipe
  1. Place the thighs skin side down on a cutting board and, using a sharp paring knife, make a cut about ¾ inch deep on both sides of each thigh bone. Season the thighs with ½ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the peanut oil in an 8- to 10-inch nonstick skillet. Place the thighs skin side down in the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over high heat, making sure that they are not sticking to the skillet. Then cover tightly with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook the thighs, covered, for about 30 minutes. The skin should be very crunchy.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 170°F.
  4. Transfer the chicken to an ovenproof serving plate, leaving the cooking fat in the skillet. Keep the chicken warm in the oven while you prepare the zucchini.
  5. Add the diced zucchini to the skillet and cook over high heat for about 4 minutes. Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and the dried tomatoes and cook, tossing, for another 30 seconds.
  6. Arrange the zucchini mixture around the chicken on the plate and serve immediately.

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