That's right, I said "perfect". Actually that's not me talking, that's Bon Appétit Magazine (circa June 2011). It seemed a little audacious to me, using the word perfect in that context, especially when the recipe only called for chicken thighs, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. It's not a recipe as much as it is a technique. I was concerned it would be a little boring but resisted the urge to add any additional seasonings and just replicate what the good people in the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen assured me would be perfect.
What you'll need:
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 475°F.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Heat oil in a 12" cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking.
4. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes.
5. Reduce heat to medium-high; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes.
6. Transfer skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes.
7. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer.
8. Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.
I'm not sure I have the words to describe to you just how delicious this chicken is. It is perfect. P-E-R-F-E-C-T. It would be equally at home on a picnic lunch or a fancy Sunday supper. I cannot wait to make this for guests. It is "just try to stop your eyes from rolling into the back of your head" delicious.
I served it with my favourite Green Bean Quinoa Salad which really worked since the rich crispiness of the chicken (reminiscent of bacon, really) needed something bright and flavourful like this salad for balance. Trust me when I tell you that the pictures don't do it justice, the ingredient list doesn't do it just, your imagination does not do it justice. Just make the damn chicken. You won't be sorry.