OH MA GAWD! The taste’s even better than it looks! Fresh-Chopped Cilantro, Rosemary, Scallions, Garlic and Lemon! Things that make you go, Ooooooom!
So, here’s the thing about THE BEST BAKED CHICKEN you’ll ever devour … IT’S YOUR OWN! Yes, yes, of course, fresh herbs, lots of garlic and crazy amounts of lemon and I’m talk’n not only the juice, the zest, but yes, even the inside pulp; but, what really sent the flavors partying in my mouth, and I did not know this:
So, I often thought, “How do they get the chicken skin to stay crusty while baking in the juices?” Never seemed to work for me. Anyway, I love perusing recipes (books, videos, blogs) and one home cook seared the chicken in a cast iron frying pan, to lock in the juices, the same way we do beef and heavier cuts of meat. And I guess, I probably have seen this before, but never really thought about the why?
So, I seared the chicken (skin side down) to a crispiness, before I baked it in the oven and MAN-O-MAN! The Flavor! I was sucking even the lemon slices! #ThingsThatMakeYouGoOom
Crispy-Crusted Chicken Thighs with Cilantro, Rosemary, Scallions, Garlic & Lots of Lemon
Now, as you know, I’m no trained chef, but I have always had this thing going on “in my mouth” for flavor combinations — and apparently, since childhood, I have always eaten with joy with my now signature, Oooooooom to follow — for what I consider good, fresh thoughtfully-prepared whole and real foods! So, what I do know is that when you balance the flavors of, for example, a savory dish with a sweet, a salty, a hot and a sour, you cannot go wrong. Balancing flavors with lemons, vinegars, wines, honey, hot peppers, fresh herbs, honey, to name a few, you’ll find that you don’t need and, after awhile, will no longer desire the heavy salt, sugars, mayonnaise, ketchup, etc., that tend to mask or drown out the true flavors of good, fresh foods!
Recipe for Crispy-Crusted Roasted Chicken Thighs
Bone-In, Skin-On Chicken Thighs
1/2 cup Olive Oil (though, I actually used Browned Butter or 1 stick of butter)
Dried Herbs & Seasonings (Rosemary, Thyme, Roasted Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Grannie’s Lemon Pepper)
Salt (to taste and since Grannie and I are salt-sensitive, we use little to no salt at all)
1 cup Cilantro (chopped)
1 cup Scallions (chopped)
3-4 Lemons (2 zested, juiced & depulped; 2 cut into slices)
6-8 Garlic Cloves (finely chopped; Grannie & I like a lot of garlic)
1 Small Red Chili Pepper (finely chopped, for me, no seeds; I don't prefer it too hot)
1 Jalapeno Pepper (finely chopped or whatever fresh hot peppers you have on hand)
Honey (very light swirl)
Garnish - Fresh Scallions, Cilantro and Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
Preheat Oven to bake at 425 degrees
Prep chicken thighs (remove fat, rinse, pat dry - must be as dry as possible for skin to crisp)
Gather and chop Fresh Herbs (Cilantro, Scallions, Rosemary, Thyme), Garlic and Red Hot & Green Chili Peppers
Slice 2 lemons and zest, juice and depulp 2 lemons (cutting into chunks the inside pulp)
On medium-high, heat olive oil (I prefer butter) in cast iron pan to medium high temperature (let butter brown) NOTE: After frying, save the leftover richly-seasoned oil to drizzle over the chicken before baking.
Season chicken thighs (Rosemary, Thyme, Roasted Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Lemon Pepper and salt, to taste)
When fry pan is heated, place chicken thighs (skin down) in pan and sear until charred or a nice browning 6-10 minutes (depending on your stove); then remove from pan and set aside on a plate and repeat searing remaining chicken
When searing is complete, return chicken thighs to the fry pan (or transfer to another larger sheet pan, if necessary), sprinkle all of the fresh herbs, seasons all in and around the chicken thighs (lots of lemon juice, pulp and zest), then finally, the leftover seasoned oil from the fry pan. NOTE: If time allows, let marinate for a few days for THAT EXTRA FLAVOR BOOST!
Swirl a very light amount of honey! As you don’t want to taste the sweet; just helps to balance the flavors (sour, hot, salt, sweet)
Bake at 425 for approx 25-30 minutes or until fully cook!
IT IS THE BEST BAKED CHICKEN I HAVE EVER HAD! Just so much flavor! It made me go, Ooooooom and I mean, the whole time I was dipping the torn chicken pieces in the lemon and herbs drippings!
Crispy-Crusted Roasted Chicken Thighs
Fresh-Cut Cilantro, Rosemary, Scallions, Garlic & Lemon
Descriptions, Recipes & Images by Mariby CorpeningTM