Let me just start this post off by saying that I’ve made this recipe twice in the past week, it’s that good. And I’m even tempted to put it on the menu for next week, though maybe I should actually use the new cookbooks I’ve been accumulating and try something different.
The first time around I made the chicken exactly as stated in the original Bon Appétit recipe for ‘perfect pan-roasted chicken thighs’. While it was really good and simple, and the skin was delightfully crisp, it was just lacking something. It reminded Reid and me of fried chicken so I figured that a little more seasoning and a creamy gravy would complement the chicken well. And I was right. This dish has all of the comfort food qualities of fried chicken and then some. And no greasy fingers! It works out perfectly too, since you have the pan drippings from cooking the chicken to help flavor the gravy. And angels sing and all is right in the world.
Tip: serve the gravy under the chicken so you don’t mess with the crispy skin. I repeat, do NOT mess with the crispy skin.
Another tip: allow the chicken thighs to sit at room temp for about 30 minutes prior to cooking. This will help you to achieve more even cooking.
Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Creamy Gravy
serves 4 (or 2 if the chicken thighs are on the small side)
- 4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin on
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- garlic powder
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
for the gravy
- 2 tablespoons of reserved pan drippings
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 475°F. Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and and season on both sides with garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. I went light on the first two and heavier on the second two but season as you like.
Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking (when the oil is quivering, it’s ready). Place the chicken thighs in the pan, skin side down, and cook for two minutes. Reduce the heat slightly to keep the skin from burning and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the fat has rendered and the skin is a deep golden brown. Occasionally rearrange the chicken thighs and rotate the pan to ensure even cooking.
Place the pan in the oven and cook for 13 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for about 5 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp. Move chicken thighs to a plate and allow to rest while you make the gravy. Note: You can shut the oven off and put them back in to keep warm but don’t cover. That will make the skin soggy.
For the gravy, discard all but two tablespoons of the oil that the chicken was cooked in. Over medium-low heat, whisk in the flour and, stirring constantly, cook until lightly browned and bubbly, about two minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock and milk and add the salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.