Pan Fried Chicken Thighs are a simple and delicious one-skillet dish. With olives and green beans, this recipe is an entire meal! Add this to your regular lineup of weeknight meals for a healthy and hearty recipe that requires little cleanup.
👩🏻🍳 Why You'll Love This Recipe
I love recipes like these pan fried chicken thighs. When it comes to making dinner, it can feel like a huge effort to make a side dish, so when I come across a recipe that makes it easy to combine vegetables with the main dish, I'm all in!
Plus, this recipe only requires one skillet, which means post-dinner clean up is a breeze. If you're looking for simple but delicious ideas for how to cook chicken thighs, this recipe is definitely for you.
If your family is like mine, chicken is always a hit. Try these Pan Fried Chicken Tenders for another quick and yummy chicken dinner! And if you're looking for a hearty side for this dish, try it with this Stovetop Mac and Cheese.
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- chicken thighs - you could also use chicken breasts if you prefer; just be sure to adjust the cooking time to accommodate the faster cooking time.
- garlic - you can use more or less depending on your taste, but 5 cloves is a good starting point.
- thyme - gives your fried chicken thighs a nice earthy, herbal touch.
- apple cider vinegar - provides some acidity.
- chicken broth - helps prevent the chicken from drying out.
- green beans - a great vegetable to pair with chicken and so easy to prepare!
- olives - these are optional but add a lot of flavor variety.
- Pat dry the chicken thighs, season with salt and pepper, then cook in vegetable oil skin side down for about 5 minutes.
- Flip the chicken and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside, draining most of the fat from the skillet.
- Add garlic and thyme and cook until the garlic browns.
- Deglaze the pan with the apple cider vinegar, then add the chicken back to the skillet along with sugar, olives (if using), and chicken broth. Transfer to the oven and cook at 400 degrees F.
- Serve with green beans.
A sure sign is to check for an internal temperature of at least 165 F. If you don't have access to a thermometer, pierce the chicken and ensure that the insides are no longer pink and the juice runs clear.
In terms of calories the difference is minimal, but the fat content of chicken thighs is almost triple what you might see in the same amount of chicken breast. In small portions, this isn't a huge deal, and it's also what makes chicken thighs taste so good!
The key is heating your oil to a good temperature. Too hot and you'll burn the chicken or dry it out, and not hot enough and you may end up with soggier chicken. You want it to be the perfect temperature to crisp the skin while also cooking the chicken all the way through. Depending on your stovetop and the pan you're using, you may have to go through a bit of trial and error to find the optimal temperature.
Compared to chicken breasts, thighs will take a bit longer to cook since they're a bit denser and have higher fat content.
💭 Other Helpful Tips
- In order to ensure that the chicken gets nice and crispy, be sure to give the thighs room in the pan as you fry them.
- This chicken lasts fairly well in the fridge up to 4 days or so. To reheat, pop it back in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or so. Microwaving it will likely alter the crispy texture and make it soggy.
- A great vessel to cook this dish in is a cast iron skillet. They're sturdy and retain and distribute heat well, which can lead to more thoroughly cooked and crispy chicken.
This recipe is extremely versatile, perfect for a weeknight dinner but elegant enough to serve in a more formal setting. If you're looking for simple guidance on how to cook chicken thighs, this recipe is a great place to start!
- One way to boost the flavor of these chicken thighs is to add more seasonings. Paprika, onion powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper are all perfect!
- This recipe also works with chicken breasts, but be sure to adjust the cooking time as chicken breasts will cook faster than thighs.
- Corn oil is another great oil with a high smoke point and is often used for frying chicken.
🥗 Suggested Side Dishes
If you're looking to make this recipe into a real feast, here are some great side dishes that compliment chicken and green beans!
Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips is a classic option that can't go wrong.
🍗 More Chicken Recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings - Another crispy fried chicken dish that's sure to please.
- Chicken Macaroni Salad - This macaroni salad is creamy and full of vegetables, and only takes about 20 minutes to put together!
- Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps - Light, flavorful, and so tasty, these wraps are great for lunch or even a snack.
Pan Fried Chicken Thighs Recipe
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📋 Recipe Card
Pan Fried Chicken Thighs with Green Beans
- Oven Safe Skillet
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
- salt and pepper
- 5 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 10 olives, pitted (optional)
- 8 ounces green beans (fresh or frozen)
- parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil on medium high heat.4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Then place the chicken thighs skin side down in the skillet and cook until the skin becomes crispy and turns golden brown, approximately 5 minutes.4 chicken thighs, salt and pepper
- Use a spatula and flip to the other side, continue to cook for another 2 - 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Discard about 2/3 of the fat in the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium. Add peeled garlic and thyme sprigs and cook until the garlic turns lightly brown, approximately 1 minute.5 cloves garlic, 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Add apple cider vinegar to deglaze the bottom of the skillet.1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- Increase the heat back to medium high. Add chicken stock, sugar, olives (optional), and chicken thighs (skin side up) in the skillet and simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 15 minutes.2 cups chicken broth, 1 tablespoon sugar, 10 olives, pitted
- For green beans: If you're using frozen beans, cook according to the package directions. If you’re using fresh beans, quickly boil them in water for 5 minutes, or microwave loosely covered for 3 minutes, then set aside and keep warm.8 ounces green beans
- When the chicken done, serve immediately with cooked green beans.
- Try not to crowd the chicken thighs in the pan to help them get crispy.
- A cast iron skillet is the best pan to use for this recipe, but you can use any large oven-safe skillet.
- Store leftover chicken in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven, 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until hot. You can also use the microwave to reheat but the skin won't be crispy.
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