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One-Skillet Crispy Chicken Thighs with Harissa

One-Skillet Crispy Chicken Thighs with Harissa

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Starting the chicken skin side down in a cold skillet lets the fat render slowly and results in the crispiest skin imaginable. It also yields a pan of flavorful schmaltz, aka liquid gold.


  • 4 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
  • 6 ounces very small potatoes, halved if wider than 1 inch
  • 1 tablespoon mild harissa paste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium leeks, halved lengthwise, cleaned, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, very thinly sliced, preferably with a mandoline, divided, fronds reserved for serving
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

Recipe Preparation

  • Arrange a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 425°. Season chicken with salt and place, skin side down, in a medium cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet. Arrange potatoes around chicken. Heat skillet over medium and cook, without moving chicken but turning potatoes occasionally, until chicken skin is browned, crisp, and releases with just a bit of coaxing from a spatula, 14–16 minutes.

  • Transfer chicken skin side up and potatoes to a plate, leaving as much fat in skillet as possible. Let skillet cool slightly, then add harissa. Return skillet to medium heat and cook harissa, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and sizzling, about 30 seconds. Pour off harissa schmaltz into a small bowl; set aside.

  • Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium. Add leeks, garlic, and three-quarters of sliced fennel and cook, covered but stirring occasionally, until softened, 8–10 minutes. Return chicken skin side up and potatoes to skillet. Transfer to oven and roast until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 10–12 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, toss 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and remaining sliced fennel and 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. lemon juice to reserved harissa schmaltz and stir to combine; season with salt.

  • Transfer chicken and potatoes to a platter. Top with fennel salad, then fennel fronds. Drizzle with harissa dressing.

Reviews SectionSo easy and unique and beautiful on the plate! Loved it.AnonymousBrooklyn, NY12/25/19I made this using the recipe in the printed December Bon Appetit, which basically just doubles this recipe. I think this single recipe would have been better, since my 10" cast iron pan was seriously overcrowded with 3 lbs of chicken thighs, preventing the potatoes from hitting the pan and getting browned/cooked before they went into the oven. The end result was decent, but the fat on the thighs didn't get completely rendered given the overcrowding, and some of the potatoes were under-cooked due to the same issue. Overall kind of meh results - the flavors were good, but proportions were off.Eeeeeexcellent! I made this for two, and it was GREAT. Used a regular non-stick frying pan and a few more potatoes, but didn't have enough fennel to make slaw. We devoured it and would have more if there was any :PAnonymousAthens, GREECE11/28/19I never want to stop making this. The way the harissa schmaltz (which is also super fun to say) adds richness to the fennel and to the dressing. The light onion flavor of the leek works so well with the chicken. And the crispy skin adds so much interesting texture to this recipeI've made this 4 times now, Love it! I rarely follow recipes, mainly for ideas to expand on. It's really hard to mess it up and it's truly a 'great' dish.AnonymousMinneapolis, MN05/27/19I take exception with the last couple of reviews. The chicken is quite tasty...not even considering the harissa. A roasted thigh with salt is nice no matter what. My wife and I aren't eating potatoes, so we left them out. I liked the cooked fennel. It was a nice replacement for a starch and the slaw gave a nice, bright crispiness. Varying textures...good stuff. I'd say, the recipe does lend itself to cranking up the harissa. I'm sure that is a function of store-bought/canned product that is a bit lame.This was just OK. The harissa flavor just didn’t come through enough for me. By the time my chicken was cooked through, the leeks and fennel at the bottom were too mushy to be enjoyable. I wanted to have a really crispy skin, so I broiled for the last 5 minutes of cooking time. The highlight of the dish was the fennel slaw and the drizzle of harissa schmaltz to finish. I added a dash of Aleppo pepper to the slaw for a little extra kick of flavor.Corinna JosselynRichmond, VA04/18/19A bit meh this time Chris! Unless I did something wrong - the chicken was bland AF as it never got any harrisa love? It was just plain salted chicken thighs? Wasn't enough fennel slaw, and I feel the fresh acidic cut-through that the slaw should have had was mired by the fatty schmaltz. If I was to make again, would base the harrisa schmaltz with the chicken and cut with a fresher version of the slaw.AnonymousNew York03/09/19The chicken was juicy and crisp which was nice but the entire dish had a bit in a one note flavor. The lemon and harissa dressing pretty much were all we could taste despite all of the flavorful ingredients and I followed the recipe exactly. So, not really worth making again when there are so many other flavorful options.AnonymousCalifornia11/15/18Absolutely delicious. So easy to make. The only thing I did different than what the recipe said was to leave the potatoes in with the fennel and leeks on top of the stove. My potatoes were done all the way through. Because I'm paranoid about under cooked chicken, I cooked it for 16 minutes on top of the stove and another 16 minutes in the oven. It was sooooo good. My husband, who does not eat cooked vegetables, said to double the caramelized fennel and leeks next time. It will become one of my go to recipes.beebo14Santa Rosa, CA10/26/18Loved how simple yet comforting this recipe is. I chopped up my leeks and fennel ahead of time so I could whip this up after work. Will definitely make again! That harissa schmaltz is MMMAnonymousPortland, OR08/09/18Straightforward and really tasty. I modified it using full legs with thighs and cooking a little longer than the recipe called for. Also didn't have the veggies on hand so just sautéed onion and garlic and then served with the harissa sauce and some slow roasted garlic and tomatoes I already had. Agree with some of the comments that the schmaltz was a bit too oily but otherwise it was delicious.AnonymousWoodstock, NY08/03/18Outstanding. I had a difficult time locating the harissa paste. I replaced it with harissa sautéing sauce packet and eliminated the garlic as it was already in the sauce packet. Guests are still raving about it.AnonymousPittsburgh, PA 07/30/18I finally made this last night after tracking down the harissa. My skillet didn't have quite enough room to easily fit the potatoes in, so I might do 3 chicken thighs instead of four to fit more potatoes. My leeks and fennel really cooked down, so I might reduce the time or lower the heat on the next round.I want to put the harissa schmaltz dressing on everything! My batch didn't make very much, but I have some reserved schmaltz from another recipe, so I can whip up some more.Delicious! I was kinda put off by the previous reviews, but I found nothing wrong with the recipe prep description. I didn't have leeks, so I used one small onion instead. Times worked and I didn't need to add any additional time for baking. Potatoes were baked all the way through, chicken as well. Again, thank you for a delicious recipe:-)AnonymousFlorida, USA05/09/18This meal is a healthyish meal if you are doing a low carb style eating plan, if you are low fat you might consider using a reduced chicken stock instead of the schmaltz. I plan on trying it both ways and will report back on my findings!Very good. A little oily. The next time I make it, I may make more fennel salad to balance that out a bit. Like the broccoli and tofu recipe, this recipe makes more like 4 servings instead of 2.AnonymousNashville, TN01/13/18I made this the other night and my husband and I loved the flavors. I have never been a fan of raw fennel so I sautéed it slightly and thought it worked perfectly with the leeks. I also had medium size fingerlings so I just cut them up and they worked fine. Harissa is my new favorite find! Just the smell of it is intoxicating. I am making in again tonight.AnonymousAustin, Texas01/12/18This was alright. I felt like it was really oily overall. Maybe if I make it again I'll just thin out the harissa with the lemon juice and leave out the extra oil. Also while I was sautéing the leeks and fennel, I felt like 8-10 minutes was really long but I just wanted to follow the recipe as written. Next time I will definitely only sauté them until softened..just a few minutes. They were cooked down so much by the time the dish was finished that there was barely anything left and they were just too soft. As another reviewer said, I also wish I had more of the raw fennel slaw since it was so needed with the rest of the oily mealAnonymousSan Francisco, CA01/11/18I made this for my wife and I last week, and we found it to be absolutely delightful. I am eager to make it again tomorrow night! Since my wife is pregnant and spice really gives her heartburn, I used a very mild harissa and probably about doubled the amount of it. It made for a little more of the harissa flavor and thickened the schmaltz just slightly. I think it would have been very runny if I had used less.The one thing is that you really kind of have to be "OK" with eating the schmaltz, as I don't think everyone will be. Perhaps if you don't really go into detail explaining what it is, you could get away with feeding it to someone, but it's absolutely a personal preference and not everyone will be OK with it.good recipe, and I look forward to trying it as written. but with no leeks or fennel or harissa I couldn't. with baby fingerlings(runts, to be honest) and chicken thighs, and celery and apple and my sister in law's homemade hot sauce it was freekin good. I am definitely a fan of spicy schmaltz!Anonymousprovidence, ri01/08/18Made this exactly as written and it turned out beautifully. Small potatoes = no need to parboil. Simple, flavourful, hearty and nourishing - I'll definitely make this again. Thanks!itstoospicyCalgary01/08/18So this was a bit of a meh for me. I loved the flavors, in the end, but it was a little fiddly for a one-pot meal. Why only six ounces of potatoes? With all that good sauce, that seems like hardly enough. (It was hardly enough for me, anyway.) What size pot are you making it in? Using my 10" cast iron skillet, there was hardly enough room for the potatoes anyway. Also I'd get two fennel bulbs -- the slaw was such a nice counter point to the greasy chicken that I wished I'd had more.nczippyWashington, DC01/07/18Super delicious! My boyfriend and I really enjoyed this and all the flavors. A tiny bit time consuming, but not overly so. Like other commenters, I found the potatoes a little under cooked, so in the future I would probably cut them smaller. I also added in some sweet potato because I had some laying around that I needed to use, and they turned out perfectly! In fact, I might just sub sweet potatoes in entirely next time. I also needed to cook the chicken thighs in the oven longer than suggested. Great recipe though! Can’t wait to make it again.We used boneless skinless thighs because that's what we had on hand. Since I knew cooking time would be less, I parboiled my potatoes for 10 minutes and they came our perfectly in the end. I also added some olive oil to the harissa and instead of adding the last 2 TBS of lemon juice to the salad I added it to the harissa to make a sort of vinaigrette. It was tasty but had more fattiness than I usually would eat. I'd probably add some broth to the pan with the leeks and fennel instead of oil next time.AnonymousPortland, OR01/05/18

A Complete Guide to Cooking Chicken Thighs

Whether you're working with bone-in, skin-on or boneless, skinless, we have you covered. Here are the best cooking methods for each type of chicken thigh.

Not all chicken thighs are created equal — and though they may all be the same part of the bird, this doesn&apost mean that they should all be prepared the same way. With so many different ways to cook chicken, it can get a little tricky to know which method you should use to prepare a certain cut of chicken. Ultimately, it comes down to understanding the different techniques you can use on chicken and deciding if you&aposre better off using bone-in, skin-on thighs or boneless, skinless. The days of staring at your chicken thighs and asking yourself "how the cluck do I cook this?" are over. 

Tips for Crispy Skillet Chicken Thighs

  • Getting the skillet as hot as you can ensures that the skin will get super crispy.
  • Then you must pat the skin dry before seasoning it.
  • You need to place the chicken skin side down in a hot skillet.
  • The use of the coconut oil gives it such an amazing flavor. But you can substitute for canola oil.


1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the turnips and, unless they're baby turnips, a.k.a. Tokyo turnips (which you'll want to leave whole), cut them into large chunks – about eight pieces each for large ones, six for mediums, and halved for small (but not baby) ones. Cut the onion in half through the stem, peel it, then cut off the root end and cut each half into quarters, so you have 8 pieces some of the petals will separate, but that’s fine. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil with 3/4 teaspoon of the spice mix and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the turnips, onions and carrots and toss to coat the vegetables. Remove the carrots and onions to a plate, place the turnips on a sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes you’ll use the same bowl to coat the chicken, so no need to wash it yet.

3. While the turnips are roasting, place the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in the bowl with the remaining spice mix, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, the allspice, 1/2 teaspoon harissa and 3/4 teaspoon salt and stir to combine well. Pat the chicken thighs dry, add them to the bowl, and toss them with the oil-and-spice mixture to coat evenly. In a separate small bowl, stir together the diced tomatoes with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, the remaining teaspoon of harissa and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

4. After the turnips have roasted 15 minutes, pull the sheet pan from the oven, use tongs to turn the turnips to another side and push them to the periphery of the pan. Lay the chicken thighs skin-side down on the hot sheet pan and strew the carrots and onions around them. Roast 15 minutes.

4. Pull the sheet pan from the oven, use tongs to turn the thighs skin-side up, and divide the tomato mixture over the top of the thighs. Roast another 35 minutes, or until the chicken measures 165 degrees when an instant-read thermometer is inserted in the thickest part. Transfer the chicken thighs and vegetables to a serving platter, drizzle with the pan sauces, scatter the parsley, cilantro or carrot tops over all and serve.

Chicken with Feta Cheese, Dill, Lemon and Harissa Yogurt

Diana Henry has a thing for chicken thighs. In fact, her new cookbook, From the Oven to the Table, has an entire chapter dedicated to the ingredient. This chicken with feta cheese, dill, lemon and harissa yogurt is just one delicious example.

&ldquoThey&rsquore succulent,&rdquo she explains, &ldquoso much better than breasts, which can dry out. In fact, it&rsquos hard to overcook chicken thighs&mdashthey all cook at the same time (and quickly), and there&rsquos no carving.&rdquo

We should also mention that this gorgeous dish happens to be a one-skillet deal. It&rsquos as easy as oven-roasting the chicken and potatoes, then topping everything with a bright mixture of feta, lemon and harissa yogurt to balance out the rich, crispy chicken.

If you&rsquore not devoted to thighs, feel free to mix it up. &ldquoIf you like a mixture of thighs and drumsticks,&rdquo Henry continues, &ldquojust replace half the thighs with drumsticks.&rdquo

Excerpted with permission from From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry, published by Octopus Books, 2019.

1 pound small waxy potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

2 red onions—peeled, halved and cut into wedges

1 head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, excess skin neatly trimmed

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of ½ lemon

½ to ⅔ cup feta cheese, crumbled

⅔ cup fresh dill leaves, torn

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the potatoes, onions, garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of the oil, salt and pepper in a 12-inch shallow casserole dish or ovenproof skillet. Toss everything around with your hands. Put the chicken thighs on top, skin side up. Brush the remaining oil onto the chicken and season with salt and pepper.

2. Roast until the chicken is golden and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 40 to 45 minutes. Squeeze over the lemon juice, then scatter the zest, feta and dill on top.

3. Put the yogurt in a bowl and spoon the harissa on top. Serve the chicken with the harissa yogurt on the side.

Ok, you might want a second pot for rice to serve with this crispy stir-fried chicken, which is coated in a tangy, sticky sauce. But does a rice cooker really count?

Shallow-fried scallops get extra crispy on the outside and super tender inside when double-dredged in an Old Bay–seasoned cornmeal mixture. Bonus: they’re gluten-free.

Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes.

© 2021 Condé Nast. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement and Your California Privacy Rights. Epicurious may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Ad Choices

    1. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels season all over with salt. Arrange skin side down in a cold large cast-iron skillet. Set over medium heat and cook chicken, undisturbed, rotating pan as needed for even browning, until skin is very deep golden brown and crisp and chicken releases easily from pan, 13󈝼 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a plate, arranging skin side up.
    2. Combine tomatoes, harissa paste, vinegar, 1 oregano sprig, and ½ tsp. salt in same skillet. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes burst and their juices start to thicken, 8󈝶 minutes.
    3. Nestle chicken thighs into tomatoes, skin side up. Reduce heat to medium-low, bring to a simmer, and cook until chicken is just cooked through and flesh is no longer pink (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part near the bone will register 165°F), and tomato sauce is thickened so that a wooden spoon dragged through it leaves a trail, 6𔃆 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes.
    4. Break feta into large pieces scatter over chicken. Some pieces will stay intact while others will soften into the sauce a little—and that's exactly what you want. Pick leaves off remaining 2 oregano sprigs and scatter on top.
    5. Serve with bread for sopping up any extra tomato sauce.

    This Recipe is Featured In:

    Easy Skillet Main Dishes

    Grab your pan by the handle and mix up one of Food Network's easy skillet main dishes.

    Related To:

    Photo By: Tara Donne ©©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

    Photo By: Tara Donne ©©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

    Photo By: Christopher Testani

    Photo By: Christopher Testani ©Christopher Testani 2013

    Creamy, Garlicky Shrimp Skillet

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    Lemon-Garlic Skillet Chicken and Potatoes

    For once, water and oil work together to make a magical one-skillet weeknight chicken dinner. Potatoes cook alongside crispy chicken thighs &mdash first they boil in water until tender, and then fry into golden nuggets in the remaining oil.

    Shrimp, White Bean and Feta Skillet

    In just under 30 minutes you can deliver a delicious shrimp and bean dinner to the table, and there's only one pan to clean up afterward.

    Cornbread Topped Cast-Iron Skillet Chili

    Cook chili, bake cornbread and serve dinner in a single skillet. The steam from this chunky, spicy, deep-red chili gives the cornbread topping an extra-fluffy texture.

    Caprese Chicken Penne Alfredo

    Creamy Alfredo pasta meets the freshness of a caprese salad in this one-skillet dinner.

    Italian Sausage Pasta Skillet

    You really can't go wrong with a 16-minute dinner, especially one that packs your protein, carbs and veggies all into one skillet. A little lemon zest-flecked ricotta is the perfect finishing touch.

    Cast-Iron Skillet Provencal Pork Chops and Potatoes

    Everything in this elegant-yet-easy dish cooks in one skillet, cutting down on the cleanup. Holding the potatoes in water after cutting prevents them from discoloring while you prep the other ingredients.

    Spicy One-Skillet Lasagna

    Use spicy Italian sausage to add a kick to your next lasagna dinner. This hearty dish feeds up to eight people, but you might want to invite fewer to dinner &mdash you'll be quite happy if you can enjoy leftovers the next day!

    Creamy Skillet Chicken

    One humble skillet has four jobs in this easy weeknight meal: It sears, sautes, simmers and steams. The cleanup is so minimal, your dishwasher will be out of work!

    Cast-Iron Skillet Quick Cassoulet

    Our amazing homage to the classic French dish that can take all day to cook is ready in about an hour. This version uses canned-bean liquid and breadcrumbs to mimic the unctuous texture, while chicken thighs replace the duck confit.

    Skillet Chicken and Ravioli

    Skillet Deep Dish Pizza

    If you ask us, this deep-dish pizza is much better than takeout. Thanks to your cast-iron skillet, you can have a hot, flavorful pizza on the table in just one hour &mdash and with minimal cleanup!

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    These cheesy enchiladas are the perfect thing to whip together if you have left over rotisserie chicken or are looking for a super quick 30-minute meal.

    Skillet Pork Tenderloin with Spiced Carrots and Couscous

    Spiced pork tenderloin, lemon-ginger carrots and apricot-studded couscous all play nicely together in this speedy one-pan weeknight dinner (your dishwasher will thank you). Consider the pumpkin pie spice your secret weapon &mdash its blend of unique spices gives you major bang in just one ingredient.

    Skillet Lasagna

    Preparing lasagna on a busy weeknight is so much easier with the help of a handy skillet and no-bake lasagna noodles &mdash that way, no baking is required. This recipe from Food Network Magazine comes together in just 45 minutes on the stovetop.

    Skillet Chicken and Dumplings

    The secret to this shortcut version of the comfort classic is using rotisserie chicken and prepared biscuit dough: With these two products on hand, a three-hour dish becomes fast enough for a weeknight dinner and easy enough (just one pot!) that you can make it almost anywhere &mdash from a camping trip to a vacation rental.

    Ok, you might want a second pot for rice to serve with this crispy stir-fried chicken, which is coated in a tangy, sticky sauce. But does a rice cooker really count?

    Shallow-fried scallops get extra crispy on the outside and super tender inside when double-dredged in an Old Bay–seasoned cornmeal mixture. Bonus: they’re gluten-free.

    Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes.

    © 2021 Condé Nast. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement and Your California Privacy Rights. Epicurious may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Ad Choices

    Pan Roasted Crispy Chicken Thighs with Figs

    Everything in one pot, inexpensive chicken thighs are seared on the stove top until crispy and then finished off in the oven with figs and onions. The pan juices make the perfect sauce to top your chicken….no effort, easy and quick. And only one pan to clean!

    I try to keep it real. When I worked outside the home, I would come home and try to create something wonderful for dinner. With proper planning…it could be done. But, honestly, I didn’t want to do anything at 6:00 when I walked in the door with a baby and a teenager who needed to do homework. Hot dogs and tater tots seemed to make an appearance more than I liked. Don’t get me wrong….I LOVE hot dogs and tater tots but I also like foods that appear a little more refined. Foods that didn’t come from a processing plant. I take myself back to those days a lot….to keep myself real. To remember that a lot of you, my loyal readers, are busy, working moms and dads that want something other than hot dogs for dinner. Something easy, something quick and something easy to clean!

    Most of the easy recipes I use come down to technique more than a list of ingredients. This is one of those recipes. The key here is to get the skin as crisp as possible which is so simple but will test your patience. And for the cleaning…let me warn you now…there will be spatter. It’s worth it and it takes no time at all to clean. Better than cleaning multiple pots. I promise.

    Once your skin is all crisped up….you toss in some onions to cook for a bit and then some garlic….and then all the chicken back into the pan. Top with some halved figs which are everywhere right now. Have you had them yet? If not, you should try them. They’re wonderful and when roasted they are magical. Sweet and buttery, perfect with chicken. They add a lot of flavor to the sauce so don’t skip them.

    This is the kind of recipe I would start as soon as I got home from work (wear an apron) and then while it was roasting in the oven I’d go change into my evening uniform….flannel pajama pants and a 20-year old t-shirt. Cause I’m super sexy like that.

    Watch the video: : Η Αργυρώ φτιάχνει μπουτάκια κοτόπουλου με κους κους (August 2022).