Does back-to-school time have you humming a few bars of the weeknight dinner blues? Come over and sit next to me, honey.
Shhh, it’s all going to be ok. I know you’re tired. I know when 5:00 rolls around you are not always feeling all that inspired. I know that the notion of chicken again makes you roll your eyes – how can we get excited about chicken over and over?
Just make this recipe, and then see if you don’t have a little spring in your weeknight step. The bracing herbal flavor or the fresh rosemary (do try and get fresh for this – it make a big difference), the citrus-ey sharpness of the lemon zest, the tartness of the lemon juice – these simple flavors turn everyday chicken thighs into something special. Also, the quick dredge in flour and sauté in a bit of oil makes these somewhere in between fried chicken and roasted chicken – crisp and moist.
And the choice of bone-in, skin-on thighs means you will have a great juicy chicken dinner, in fact, one that’s pretty hard to overcook. Make sure the internal temperature gets to 165° F. You can serve these right in the pan at the table, as long as everyone knows that pan is hot.
These would be great with some rice or any kind of grain to soak up some of the pan sauce you’ll have once the chicken is cooked. Round out the plate with a simple green vegetable, like sautéed broccolini or Swiss chard, or some roasted asparagus.
Rosemary and Lemon Roasted Chicken Thighs
- 3 lemons
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 8 chicken bone-in, skin-on thighs (about 2 ½ pounds)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh chives or parsley optional
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash and zest the lemons, then juice them and strain the juice.
- In a small bowl mix together the lemon zest and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.
- Use your fingers to gently loosen the skin from the chicken thighs. Insert a hefty pinch of the rosemary-zest mixture under the skin of each thigh and rub it to coat the meat. You will use about ½ of the rub mixture for this.
- In a shallow bowl blend the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and shake off any excess.
- Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and place the chicken thighs in the pan, skin side down (you may need to do this in two batches), and cook for about 5 minutes, until the skin starts to brown. Flip the thighs and cook for another 4 minutes or so on the bottom side, until the bottoms starts to turn golden. If you cooked the chicken in batches, fit all of the chicken back into the pan, transfer to the oven and roast for about 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked though.
- Sprinkle as much lemon juice as you like over the chicken, then sprinkle the remaining lemon zest and rosemary mixture over the chicken, and serve hot. Sprinkle with chives or parsley if desired.
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