Lemon Chicken Thighs

I love chicken thighs and this recipe from bon appétit looked easy and delicious. Serves 2-4 depending on appetite and size of thighs.

Lemon Chicken Thighs

  • 4 chicken thighs (bone-in and skin-on)
  • Salt & pepper
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo style pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Pat chicken thighs dry and season well with salt and black pepper. Place in a large resealable plastic bag and add vinegar. Seal bag and gently massage chicken to ensure all thighs are coated in vinegar. Chill 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°. Remove chicken thighs from bag and pat dry with paper towels; the drier the skin, the crispier it will be when cooked.
Place chicken thighs, skin side down, in a dry large cast-iron skillet and set over medium heat. Cook undisturbed until they easily release from the pan, about 4 minutes. Continue to cook, moving chicken around occasionally to ensure the skin is cooking evenly, until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and transfer skillet to oven. Bake until chicken is cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Transfer chicken and garlic to a plate.
Set skillet over medium-high heat and cook lemons, cut side down, until edges are deeply charred (they should be almost black), about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate with chicken and garlic and let cool slightly.
Squeeze lemon juice into a small bowl; add garlic, honey, and Aleppo-style pepper and whisk to combine. Whisk in oil and any accumulated juices on plate with chicken. Season vinaigrette with salt and black pepper.
Drizzle half of vinaigrette on a platter and set chicken on top. Serve with remaining vinaigrette alongside and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Lemons for Chicken ThighsMy verdict:

This was good, tasty, but not one of the best (or easiest) chicken thigh recipes I’ve made. One of the major issues I had was that you’ve got a pan full of great browned chicken bits (fond, if you want to get technical) and there’s no call to do anything with them.
I couldn’t let all that great flavor go to waste so after cooking the lemons, I deglazed the pan with a little white wine (chicken stock or water would work fine), scraping up the browned bits. Once that was done, I added the vinaigrette, let it cook down a bit (smashing up the garlic as it cooked) and served that as a sauce over the chicken.
The other problem came juicing the lemons. They were slippery from being in a greasy pan and I ended up picking countless pits out of the bowl, so using a juicer or reamer might be a better idea than just juicing them into a bowl.
I’m thinking this might be just as good (and easier) done on a sheet pan in a 400° oven and roasting the lemons and garlic along with the chicken. What do you think?

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