This weekend, I made chicken thighs, with one end goal in mind: salty, crispy, and crunchy skin — REALLY crunchy skin, the kind you’re presented with when you eat fried chicken, not roasted chicken. So I did a little research (the best kind of research) and patched together a few methods and ideas and ended up with something so ridiculously tasty that I was smacking myself for hours afterwards.
Here’s how to do it…
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Smash a few garlic cloves with the side of your knife, peel them, then drop them into a cast iron skillet or pan along with a glug of neutral oil and 1 tablespoon butter.
Turn the heat on to medium high. Meanwhile, pat your chicken dry and season generously. When the butter starts bubbling in the pan, add your chicken skin-side down, cover with a splatter screen if you have one (but not a lid, you want there to be flowing oxygen for those puppies) and then exercise self-restraint for 12-15 minutes while you practice the Don’t-Touch-It method (the trick, and secret to the crispiest skin!) Don’t budge it/poke it/prod it/touch it while the chicken does its magic, rendering all the fat out and slowly but surely pulling away from the pan. You can peek and see if the garlic is burning, at which point you can remove them (they’ve done their job), but otherwise, don’t touch! Walk out of the kitchen if you must (I had to).
After 12-15 minutes, check and see if your skin is all crisped up by nudging it slightly with a spatula. It should release from its spot in the pan fairly easily. Flip it (it should be a gorgeous golden brown color), then slide it into the oven, roasting it for another 12-20 minutes (my chicken thighs were on the small side and were fully cooked after just 12 minutes).
I served mine with baked beans, sautéed kale, and good bread. It really hit the spot. Make this tonight, then let me know how it turns out : )