As a food blogger–and, I guess, unfocused cook n general–I’m constantly making new dishes for lunch, dinner, and dessert. Rarely does one singular dish make more than a couple appearances on our table. If that were the case, I’d never have anything to share with you guys, and I know I’m already posting pretty infrequently these days!
These perfect seared chicken thighs with pan sauce, however, are one major, major exception. We might actually make these.. every single week? At the very least, every other week. The crispy, salty skin, the tender meat, the heady, buttery pan sauce.. it’s all too much to battle. In fact, this dish is often requested for family dinners–even birthdays!–it’s that good. Oh.. and did I mention it’s super easy?
What I love about this recipe is that it’s basic enough to work in a weekly meal plan, but elegant and exciting enough to keep you from being bored. It’s like sear, roast, sauté, and reduce, et voilà: a perfectly gourmet, yet stupid cheap main course awaits. We’ve served the thighs over orzo, rice, quinoa, even steamed potatoes, spooning the rich, white wine and shallot reduction over the whole thing.
This approach is also an excellent jumping-off point for really any recipe that involves chicken pieces–last night, in fact, we made these thighs and absolutely smothered them with my perfect chimichurri. You will never, ever go back to simple roasted chicken pieces, I guarantee it. Not with those golden, crispy skinned thighs dancing in your mind! I almost dare you. Double-dog dare you. Tah-riple dog dare you.
(You’re gonna lose this bet).
Perfect Seared Chicken Thighs with Pan Sauce
- 2 organic chicken thighs--bone in and skin on
- sea salt
- about 2 teaspoons ghee or coconut oil
- 1/4 cup shallots , finely minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2/3 cup organic chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons cold organic grass-fed butter
- orzo , rice, or quinoa to serve
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Pat chicken thighs very dry and then season very liberally with sea salt. Heat ghee or coconut oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, then using tongs, place chicken thighs skin-side down in skillet and sear for about 5 minutes, or until skin is golden brown and no longer sticks to the pan. Flip thighs and cook another three minutes. Flip thighs once more so that skin side is again down and then transfer to the oven. Roast for about 15-20 minutes, or until about 165º (temperature will rise a little while resting). Remove chicken thighs from pan and tent loosely with tin foil to rest while you make your pan sauce.
Carefully--always using a potholder on the skillet handle during the rest of the recipe--pour off all but about 1-2 tablespoons fat from skillet, then place skillet back on burner over about medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for about a minute or two, or until softening and picking up the brown fond. Once shallots are softened, carefully add white wine and deglaze, scraping with a spatula to lift all the browned bits on the skillet. Bring to a boil and let reduce to about half its volume. Then add chicken stock, again bring to a boil, and then reduce to about half, or until volume is reduced and a bit thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cold butter.
Serve thighs over orzo, rice, or quinoa, then ladle pan sauce over and serve immediately.
I did totally use chicken quarters in this photo, just because that’s what we had, but we usually just use thighs. It works either way!5