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Lemon Rosemary Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs

There’s been a real shift in my views of chicken since I started shelling out more money for it. For years I would buy the 8 dollar pack of enormous chicken breasts at Giant and be happy about the “deal” I got and all the protein. Then Rich’s diet demanded I buy “pasture-raised” chicken. It’s like an 800% price differential.

I get my chicken now from Axel at the West Chester Grower’s market. I picture his chickens eating lots of alfalfa and lounging about in the sunshine while the birds chirp. I’ve started experimenting with the parts of chicken I buy, because “boneless skinless breasts” come at a premium. I’ve also come to enjoy the beneficial roles that skin and bones play – gone are the days when the fat-fretters would remove the crackly skin and toss it in the trash. If I’m going to pay this much for it we will enjoy every square inch.

This chicken dinner was a big ‘ol win in my house. My husband said it was the best chicken he’s had in as long as he can remember. I served the thighs with white rice and asparagus and drizzled the pan sauce over all three. Made for a nice, cohesive plate. The sauce was bright and fragrant and the skin – even when I reheated it later – stayed super crisp. I needed to blog it because I’m sure I’ll be making it again very soon. Hope you like it as much as we did.

Lemon Rosemary Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs

Serves 5

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed

1/2-1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 tbsp. avocado or olive oil

3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 tbsp. butter, optional (skip for dairy free)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dry chicken with paper towels and sprinkle skin side with salt and pepper (reserving about half for the second side).
  2. Heat oil in stainless steel, oven proof skillet/fry pan over medium high heat.
  3. Add chicken, skin side down. Do not move chicken. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. When chicken is deeply golden brown and has released from pan completely, flip to second side. Let cook for several minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  4. Move pan to oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until meat registers 170 degrees. Remove from oven and remove chicken from pan to nearby plate.
  5. Add garlic and rosemary to pan and cook over medium heat while whisking until garlic is fragrant, about three minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, zest and butter. Whisk until cohesive and serve immediately with chicken.