Let’s be honest. There are a MILLION ways to cook chicken. And with that being said, I’ll admit…I don’t LOVE chicken anymore! It’s just SO predictable. So much of the same all of the time. So blah. Yep, I’m a bitter chicken cooking, recipe ignoring, non-lover of the bird. Or so I thought….
For the last few months, I’ve been trying to convince myself that steak (umm…swoon!!) isn’t the best protein EVER created and I need to eat healthier foods. After countless, and often failed, bird-cooking tries I finally re-discovered that I really do LOVE a good chicken thigh! The versatility of what you can do with this part of a chicken is just so…delicious. So I decided to take 2 things I love and combine them. My cast iron skillet…and chicken thighs!
I found my inspiration for this dish originally from Bon Appetit Magazine and adapted it to this!
For this easy recipe: You will need chicken thighs, lemons, capers, white wine (and some for sipping), rosemary, chicken broth, olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, shallot, garlic and some half & half. Seems like a lot…but it’s really easy and flavorful.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. To get started, make sure you trim any excess fat and skin off of the chicken thighs, pat them dry & season well with salt & pepper. Next, drizzle a little oil in your cast iron skillet & set the temp on medium to high heat. Don’t let this to scorch or it will taste…well SCORCHED! I use Herb Oil. A local Birmingham, AL based company that makes their own herb-infused oils, salts, mustard, tapenade and bitters (click on the link for more info). I use it for almost everything because it is soooo good!
If you don’t have your own Herb Oil, olive oil will work just fine. Once this is sizzling, add in your chicken, skin side down. As the fat from the skin renders…you’ll want to pour some of the oil out of the pan. You want to keep the pan just barely greased. We don’t want to deep fry this! Let this cook for about 10 minutes or until chicken is about halfway cooked through. Then add your lemons and place in the oven. Scatter the lemons throughout the pan and make sure you get some on the bottom so they caramelize in the drippings!
Let this continue to bake for about 10 more minutes and lemons on the bottom of the pan are caramelized. Remove from the oven and take out the caramelized lemons on the bottom & the chicken. Set aside. Don’t remove the soft lemons that are not browned yet.
Add to those lemons and pan drippings your garlic, crushed red pepper, capers, rosemary and shallot. Cook this for about a minute. Remove from the heat and add the wine, then back on the heat! Don’t want to catch on fire here! You’ll cook this until the wine reduces down by half stirring up those yummy brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Just simmer for a couple of minutes. Then add your broth and more lemon juice! (**Note…if you don’t want to use wine, just skip that step. You’ll just want to reduce the chicken broth the same way). Then add your chicken back into the pan skin side up along with the caramelized lemons. Place back in the oven for about 10 more minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through! If you are using a meat thermometer, get the internal temp to 165 degrees.
Right before you serve it, stir in just a little half & half into the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken and top with some fresh parmesan!
Isn’t that BEA-U-TEE-FUL??!!??!! Serve this with some Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes & this is perfection!
Let me know what you think! Enjoy!
Cast Iron Skillet Chicken with a Caramelized Lemon, Rosemary & Caper Sauce
Adapted from: Bon Appetit Magazine
4 Medium Chicken Thighs, Trimmed
1 Tbsp Herb Oil or Olive Oil
1/3 c Dry White Wine
1/2 c Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Thinly Sliced Lemon
1/2 Lemon Juiced for Sauce
2 Tbsp Capers
1 Sprig of Rosemary
1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 Medium Shallot Thinly Diced
1 Clove Finely Chopped Garlic
2 Tbsp Fat Free Half & Half
Salt & Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Trim the chicken of any excess fat or skin. Pat dry and then season both sides generously with salt & pepper.
3. Heat oil in cast iron skillet on med-high heat until sizzling.
4. Add chicken, skin side down. Brown for about 10 minutes until chicken is cooked about halfway through.
5. Add lemons on top of chicken and on the bottom of the pan to caramelize.
6. Place in oven and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
8. Take chicken and caramelized lemons out of the pan and set aside.
9. Leave the soft lemons in the pan to continue cooking. Add in shallot, red pepper, rosemary, capers & garlic. Cook on the stove for another minute. Just until cooked through and fragrant.
10. Add in wine and continue to stir until sauce is reduced by half. Make sure to get the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet stirred into the sauce.
11. Add in broth, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste and heat to a simmer.
12. Place caramelized lemons & chicken back into the pan. Skin side up this time. Cook in the oven for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
13. Internal temp should read 165 degrees.
14. Stir in half & half to the sauce. Spoon sauce over chicken & top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.