Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano

Here’s another winner from Bon Appetit! Chicken thighs haven’t been handed the best name in the meat case (though, arguably, Boston butt has it worse), yet I think they’re pretty special. Inexpensive and juicy from their dark meat, chicken thighs are perfectly suited for the slow cooker (since they don’t dry out easily) and for this recipe, in which they spend some time on the stove top and some roasting away in the oven. The original recipe calls for wine, so I just omitted that to make it paleo and didn’t even miss it in the pan sauce.

What really makes this special is the bright, slightly sweet tang the caramelized lemons add. Don’t just leave them for garnish! Note: You can make this with bone-in chicken thighs; just be sure to add about 10 minutes to the cooking time on the stove and 5 or so in the oven.

Photo from BonAppetit.com... because their picture is better than mine, OK?

Photo from BonAppetit.com… because their picture is better than mine, OK?

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano, from Bon Appetit

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 4 large or 8 small skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 sprigs oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot [I just added an entire shallot, minced]
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Very thinly slice half of lemon; discard any seeds. Cut remaining lemon half into 2 wedges. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  2. Coat a large room-temperature skillet with 1 teaspoon oil. Add chicken, skin side down. Place skillet over medium heat and cook, letting skin render and brown, and pouring off excess fat to maintain a thin coating in pan, until chicken is cooked halfway through, about 10 minutes.
  3. Scatter half of lemon slices over chicken and half on bottom of skillet (the slices on top of the chicken will soften; those in the skillet will caramelize). Transfer skillet to oven, leaving chicken skin side down. Roast until chicken is cooked through, skin is crisp, and lemon slices on bottom of skillet are caramelized, 6-8 minutes.
  4. Transfer chicken pieces, skin side up, and caramelized lemon slices from bottom of skillet to a warm platter. (Leave softened lemon slices in the skillet.) Return skillet to medium heat. Add oregano sprigs, shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add broth; cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Squeeze 1 lemon wedge over and season sauce with salt, pepper, and juice from remaining lemon wedge, if desired. Return chicken to skillet, skin side up, to rewarm. Serve topped with caramelized lemon slices.