Crispy Chicken Thighs - Handle the Heat

Crispy Chicken Thighs

By Tessa Arias
June 23rd, 2014
5 from 6 votes
5 from 6 votes

Crispy Chicken Thighs are loaded with classic lemon, garlic, and rosemary flavors and are cooked in a cast-iron skillet to get PERFECTLY golden crisp skin.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: I will always LOVE the chicken + garlic + lemon + rosemary flavor combination. It's perfection. Texture: Like fried chicken without the breading or gallon of oil. The skin is so crackly and crisp while the meat inside is juicy and tender. AH! So good. Ease: Very easy. The hardest part is cleaning the cast iron pan. Appearance: Just look at that golden brown skin. Yum. Pros: 30 minute meal you'll crave over and over. Cons: Cast iron pans can get a little smokey and take some extra effort to clean but it's the best way you'll get that perfect crisp skin. Would I make this again? I've made this countless times.

I started working on a new project that I am seriously SO excited about. Don’t you love when you have something new to focus your energies towards and it’s fun and exciting and challenging? I’m totally one of those people that LOVES to start projects. Everything about approaching something for the very first time excites me. I usually make my best effort to finish everything I start, but I definitely get a bit of a high off those first few weeks. Are you one of those people who has endless projects half finished??

Today’s recipe can be started and finished in about 30 minutes. WIN! These chicken thighs are seriously goooood. They’re total comfort food to me because they involve both my favorite flavors (garlic, lemon, and rosemary) and my favorite texture (crisp crackling goodness). You basically start off the chicken in a cast-iron pan on the stove to sear, then finish it off in the oven. The cast-iron gets super hot, so hot that it might actually smoke so be sure to turn your hood fan on. That heat is what imparts that super golden crispness to the skin while making the inside stay nice and juicy. You could use another type of oven-safe pan for this recipe, but I can’t promise it will make as crispy of results as that good ole’ cast iron will. I promise, it’s so worth the clean-up.

Crispy Chicken Thighs - we loved this!!


5 from 6 votes

How to make
Crispy Chicken Thighs

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Crispy Chicken Thighs are loaded with classic lemon, garlic, and rosemary flavors and are cooked in a cast-iron skillet to get PERFECTLY golden crisp skin.


  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 6 to 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon zest (reserve the juice), and rosemary in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixture evenly over both sides of the chicken thighs.
  3. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Place the chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high and continue cooking with the skin side down until the fat renders and it is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for another 6 minutes. Flip the chicken so the skin side is facing up and cooking until the skin is crisp and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers at least 165°F, about another 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken before serving.

Recipe Notes

Cast iron pans get very hot which makes them great for crisping chicken skin, but also means they tend to smoke. Make sure you turn your vent hood on and, if possible, open a window. Also, chicken thighs can vary greatly in size. You may need to shave the cooking times slightly for really small thighs, and increase the cooking times for larger thighs.
Course : Main Course
Cuisine : American
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Thisha — January 7, 2023 at 6:03 pm

    Delish, wasn’t sure about lemon at the end but it truly made the dish.

  2. #
    MiamiJanet — March 5, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    Excellent! Crispy outside, moist inside, very flavorful. Worth smoking-up the kitchen a bit — after all, that’s what hood/vent fans are for!

    • #
      Emily — March 8, 2022 at 11:10 am

      So happy you loved them!

  3. #
    Emily — February 14, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    This is one of our favorite chicken recipes. Even make it with chicken thighs without bones and it’s amazing! Always get compliments on it. Thank you!

    • #
      Tessa — February 15, 2021 at 3:09 pm


  4. #
    Mickey Scott — January 12, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Love, love, love!!! Made it numerous times and
    it is always a hit!!

  5. #
    Teri Tweed — October 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Very tasty! Loved the combination of all the flavors of the seasonings!

  6. #
    Peter Moore — August 6, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Absolutely delicious! My wife and I either take turns or tag team in the kitchen. It was my turn, and what drew me to this recipe was not only it sounding tasty but the simplicity of making it.
    My only stray from the recipe was giving the chicken a really light spray of cooking spray to help the seasonings stick to it. The rest was by the numbers to its final resting place in our full tummies…
    A definite keeper! Two thumbs up from the Mrs. also.
    Thanks! Happy Feasting!

  7. #
    plasterer bristol — January 24, 2017 at 11:09 am

    we made these last night, they tasted just perfect. Thanks for sharing.


  8. #
    Judy — March 17, 2016 at 8:14 am

    This chicken is look very yummy!! And I did try this today ..but i use skinless chicken thigh and I add paprika just because I want little Redish ,oh gracious a came out so beautiful and delicious I can’t stop from now on this is my favorite recipe ..thank you for sharing..

  9. #
    Ann — January 7, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    First let me say, this was delicious!! My husband is not a poultry eater but I have been trying to make him a convert for the last year. He will only eat chicken thighs so I relented, but it is difficult to find good recipes for thighs. He LOVED this! And I love cooking in my cast iron pan so this recipe was perfect! Thanks!!

    • #
      Tessa — January 8, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Happy to hear that Ann!

  10. #
    John Davis — December 28, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Has anyone ever tried this with boneless, skinless thighs?

  11. #
    Valerie — December 7, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    I am not sure how anyone who made this wasn’t eating absolutely raw chicken. My husband and I are sitting here waiting and waiting for it to be finished. It just isn’t happening. It looks great and I am sure will turn out fantastic, but the cooking time is waaaaaay off.

    • #
      luke — January 30, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      did you use frozen chicken thighs and not thaw them? did you only put the pan in the oven and not on the stovetop?

  12. #
    Natalie — August 19, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Made this last night for my husband and I, it was delicious and super easy! Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly, juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside…with amazing flavor! Thanks for this!

  13. #
    bobbette joeson-sonoson — June 6, 2015 at 5:44 am

    dis recipe looks nice

  14. #
    Jennifer — March 2, 2015 at 10:02 am

    I made this recipe yesterday….my whole family LOVED the crispy chicken…especially my husband. I will definitely make this again soon! 🙂 Thank you!!!

  15. #
    sonia — September 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    It burned in half of the cooking time (pan). A little disappointed, but I am still putting in the oven to finish cooking. I wanted crispy, but not THAT crispy…

  16. #
    Dante — July 16, 2014 at 12:36 am

    WOW, love it.
    Am nuts about chicken. Quick and easy dishes of this sort.
    Definitely trying.
    More power.

  17. #
    Olivia – Primavera Kitchen — June 24, 2014 at 8:33 am

    WOW what an easy and delicious recipe. I love chicken thighs… it is just so tasty 😉

  18. #
    Rachel Cooks — June 24, 2014 at 6:14 am

    Excited to hear about the new project! Loving these chicken thighs — they look perfect!

  19. #
    Gaby — June 23, 2014 at 9:14 am

    This is seriously delicious!

  20. #
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — June 23, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Love chicken thighs. I don’t think most people realize how tasty they are and easy to cook!

  21. #
    Kathy — June 23, 2014 at 4:37 am

    I have some bone in chicken thighs and was looking for a recipe! These sound delicious. Will definitely try this recipe.

  22. #
    Chloe @ foodlikecake — June 23, 2014 at 3:33 am

    These look awesome ;-D

  23. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — June 23, 2014 at 3:23 am

    Drooling over these photos! Totally digging these classic flavours, and this girl can never say no to some crispy chicken! Pinned!

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