Cast-Iron Skillet Chicken
Author: Charmian Chrisite
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Cooking chicken in a hot cast-iron frying pan produces an extra-crisp skin and moist meat. This recipe calls for chicken thighs, but will also work with a small (3-pound or so) chicken that's been butterflied.
  • Chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
  • Fresh thyme (or other herb of choice)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Slivered onions
  • Oil
  1. Put an empty, seasoned cast-iron skillet in an oven set to 500°F. Leave the pan in the oven to heat for 45 minutes.
  2. Insert a sprig of fresh thyme (or any other herb you care to use) under the skin of each chicken piece. Sprinkle the skin with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Sliver the onion (use two or three as they shrink down), drizzle with a bit of oil, toss and set aside. Go out and garden. Or not.
  4. When the skillet is heated, sprinkle the onions evenly over the bottom of the hot pan. They will sizzle. Place the thighs, skin side up, on top of the slivered onions. Pop the skillet into the 500°F oven. Resist the urge to turn the heat down.
  5. Cook the chicken for 25 to 45 minutes, or until done. (My butcher sells huge chicken pieces which take almost twice as long as supermarket pieces.) Use this time to make a salad, cook rice, answer email. Or garden.
  6. When the chicken is done, serve immediately while the skin is still delightfully crisp. Resting doesn't make chicken cooked this way any juicier and only results in disappointingly withered skin.
This recipe was been updated to reflect my most recent chicken experimentation. I found putting the chicken in skin-side up kept the chicken just as juicy, but produced a crispier skin. The technique is just as easy, but the results are slightly more attractive. One day I'll update the photo. Maybe...
Recipe by The Messy Baker at