How to Achieve Perfection: Frying Bone-In Chicken Thighs

Imagine sinking your teeth into juicy, tender pan-fried chicken thighs with a golden-crisp skin. It’s possible with just a spoonful of oil and a bit of patience. The hardest part? Waiting as they slowly cook on the stove-top. But let me tell you, the result is completely worth the wait!

Perfect Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs

Pan Fried Chicken Thighs: A Staple in Any Household

These pan-fried chicken thighs have become a staple in my house over the past few years. I used to make this chicken at least once a week for the first couple of months, and even now, I make it at least once a month. Why? Because the chicken turns out perfectly every single time.

My kids have fallen in love with this dish and now ask for the “crispy skin chicken” every time they see me purchasing chicken. Trust me, it’s a hit among both kids and adults, and it has remained a favorite for over ten years.

Can You Fry Chicken in Olive Oil?

Short answer? YES! I’ve been asked this question so many times that I finally made a note in the recipe card. You might think that using refined (unscented) coconut oil would be a better choice due to its higher smoking point, but I’ve been using olive oil for years now without any issues at all.

This isn’t deep-frying; it’s a shallow pan-fry method that requires just a tablespoon of oil. You’re not cooking at a high temperature either. So, feel free to use olive oil with confidence. After cooking chicken this way for a couple of years, I decided to experiment with an oven method for achieving the same crispy chicken thighs. Let me tell you, this Oven Baked Crispy Chicken is pretty amazing too.

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Pan Fried Chicken in Skillet

You might be wondering what to serve alongside these irresistible pan-fried chicken thighs. Well, there are a few fantastic options. Try a Mandarin Broccoli Salad, a Creamy Pasta Salad, or even some Panera Mac and Cheese. The possibilities are endless!

And if you’re looking for a show-stopping combination, give these Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes a try. Imagine the combination of crispy chicken and a piping hot, silky smooth sweet potato. You won’t be disappointed.

Perfect Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs

How Long to Fry Chicken Thighs: A Step-by-Step Guide

To achieve perfectly crispy and flavorful chicken thighs, follow these simple steps:

  1. Pour a tablespoon of oil into a large stainless or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. (A non-stick skillet will work as well, although it isn’t required.)
  2. Generously sprinkle the skin side of the chicken thighs with spices. Then, place them in the hot skillet, skin side down. Sprinkle the other side of the thighs and let them cook uncovered for about 20-25 minutes. It’s essential to avoid moving them during this stage.
  3. Allow the chicken to cook until the fat has rendered and the skin turns deep golden brown and crisp. This could take as long as 30 minutes. If the skin sticks to the pan, it likely isn’t finished on that side. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning before achieving an even golden-brown color.
  4. Carefully turn the thighs over and continue cooking for approximately 20 more minutes. When the meat closest to the bone is cooked through, your chicken is done.

Pan Fried Chicken in Skillet with Striped Towel

Frying Chicken Thighs in a Pan: Tips for Success

When I first learned how to cook chicken on the stove, I was in heaven. The process of achieving crispy chicken thighs without deep frying or constantly attending to the stove felt like a revelation. Here are a few tips to ensure your success:

  • Start with a heavy skillet for even heat distribution.
  • Use a splatter-screen to minimize mess on the stovetop.
  • Reduce the lingering aroma of this recipe by placing a small bowl with a cup of vinegar next to the stove.
See also  How to Make Delicious Chicken Wings at Home

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make this recipe your own. And if you need a refresher, just revisit this article for guidance.

{originally published 4/17/13 – recipe notes and photos updated 9/1/2022}

Close-up of Fried Chicken in Skillet
Perfect Pan Fried Chicken Thighs

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