I’ve made this dish two times in the last 7 days because it’s THAT good! I don’t typically cook with chicken thighs but I found some on a really great deal at the grocery store and decided to stock up. To be honest, I didn’t really even know how to cook chicken thighs with skin and bones because I normally only buy boneless and skinless chicken breast. The only bad thing about cooking the chicken thighs is that it’s best done in the oven. I made the mistake of making this dish during a really hot day and then we had to deal with a really hot house for the rest of the evening. But, it was worth it!
This dish will make your whole home smell like garlic and will have you salivating.
Start by melting some butter, or oil of your choice, in a large cast iron skillet – it’s important that you’re using a skillet that can be transferred from the stove to the oven. When the butter is hot and bubbling, put the chicken in skin side down. It should sizzle away. The goal is to crisp up the chicken skin and brown it before transferring it to the oven to bake. It should only take 3-4 minutes for the skin to be crisp then flip the chicken. I like to cook this side just a minute longer because it takes a little longer to brown and it helps start the cooking process. So about 4-5 minutes and then you’re going to turn the heat off and remove the chicken to a plate.
Be careful during this step because hot butter/oil/fat will pop a lot – so please make sure no kids or animals are around and that you’re being cautious.
In the skillet there will be chicken fat that has been rendered, you’ll want to leave that there for the next step. I turned the heat off because a cast iron skillet will be plenty hot on it’s own. Add a few cloves of minced garlic to the skillet, they’ll instantly sizzle and start cooking. You’ll get a huge whiff of garlic and you’re going to want to stir it around. It can burn very easily and burnt garlic is just about one of the worst smells. Add in the brown sugar and honey, this combined with the garlic makes the glaze. The sauce will start to thicken up even without any heat because the pan will be hot enough, if it’s cooled down then turn the heat on low just to melt together.
Add the chicken back to the skillet, skin side up and then transfer the whole skillet to the super hot oven, like 400-425*.
Depending on the size of your chicken thighs and how many you’re cooking it will take anywhere from 20-45 minutes for it to fully cook through. The one thing I have found I love about chicken thighs is that it’s really hard to cook them too much to where they’re dry, they always turn out so moist. There’s enough fat in the meat that when you’re cooking it on the stove you’ll end up with a lot of fat in the skillet with you helping cook the chicken. The fat definitely helps flavor the chicken but this is also why a lot of people don’t cook with thighs.
About half way through I like to pull the skillet out and flip the chicken over, that way it helps cook more evenly and the sauce gets distributed better. The chicken is done when there’s no pink left. When I pull the pan out to flip, I cut into each piece to see how it’s coming along to help determine how much time is left. For 5 medium chicken thighs I think it took about 35 min in the oven to fully cook.
And dinner is served! It’s such a delicious and easy meal to cook up for 2 or even 6.
- 5 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin on
- 2 T butter or oil
- 1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 T Honey
- Preheat oven to 400-425*
- Salt and pepper the chicken, both sides.
- Heat up butter/oil in skillet and set chicken in skin side down.
- Let cook 3-4 minutes or until crispy, flip and cook another 4-5 min
- Remove chicken from skillet and turn off heat, add in minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds
- Add in brown sugar and honey, mix. Add chicken back to skillet and put into the oven for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and flip chicken, check for doneness, put back into oven for another 10-20 minutes or until done.