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Cast Iron Chicken Thighs

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Cast Iron Chicken Thighs recipe is the best way to get perfectly cooked juicy, crispy chicken every time. Up your chicken dinner game by cooking in a cast iron skillet to create an irresistible golden crust while keeping the meat tender on the inside.

cooked chicken thigh on a wooden cutting board
Image by Sarah Alvord

Cast Iron Chicken Thighs

When you need a quick protein that packs a ton of flavor, you really can’t beat a well-cooked chicken thigh. Made with simple pantry ingredients, this packs a flavor punch in every bite. The combination of garlic, onion, salt, black pepper, and paprika will have you cooking chicken thighs in your cast iron pan over and over.

You are going to love this recipe, well obviously because of the flavor and texture, but let’s not discount the ease. Making chicken in a cast iron skillet requires very little cooking skills, but creates a dish that makes you look like a trained chef. So let’s get to it, it’s time to wow your family and friends with your mad skills.

Why Cast Iron

Besides the fact that it is just nostalgic and sort of makes you feel like a homesteader when you use cast iron, it really is such a great pan that every kitchen should have. Cast iron is great at retaining and evenly distributing heat so that it can create that perfect crisp outer texture while still cooking the meat just right on the inside.

Plus cast iron has a great non-stick finish that makes clean-up a breeze and who doesn’t love that? So, that being said, cast iron is my go-to choice for cooking up perfect chicken thighs.

How Long to Cook Chicken Thighs

Your chicken thighs will take about 30-35 minutes to fully cook. This recipe was made with 6 ounce (and one 4 ounce) chicken thighs. Bone-in chicken thighs will typically take longer than boneless thighs to cook through. These cast iron cooked chicken thighs start on the stovetop and then are finished in a 400º F oven.

I always suggest that you don’t just go by the time when cooking chicken, the best way to be sure your chicken thighs are cooked through is with a good instant read thermometer. The USDA recommends cooking all poultry to an internal temperature of 165º F. Check the temperature in the largest part of the thigh.

cooked chicken thigh on a small square plate

Chicken Thigh Seasoning

It is so easy to make a simple chicken seasoning mix right at home with spices you already have in your pantry. This is what you will need for this cast iron chicken thigh recipe to make it stand out delicious every time:

  • Sea Salt– using this larger grain of salt is perfect for helping make that crisp outer skin
  • Black Pepper- a little bit goes a long way with this simple spice
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika

How to Make Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s get down to the actual process of making cast iron chicken thighs.

  1. Preheat the oven– get the oven heating up to 400º F since this will take a bit of time, it is best to do first thing.
  2. Season the chicken thighs– prepare the chicken thighs by patting them dry with a paper towel. Combine the spices together and liberally sprinkle all over both sides of the chicken thighs.
  3. Preheat the cast iron– place your cast iron pan on the stovetop over medium high heat and allow to heat up for just a minute. Add the oil to the pan and swirl it all over the bottom.
  4. Sear the chicken thighs– place the chicken skin side down into the hot cast iron skillet and cook for about 4 minutes, unil the skin is just crisp. Flip and cook on the other side for an additional 4 minutes. Flip bake over so the chicken thighs are skin side up.
  5. Bake the chicken thighs– place the cast iron pan with the chicken thighs into the heated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reads 165º F
4 chicken thighs in a black cast iron pan

More Chicken Thigh Recipes

If you are looking for other ways to cook up the perfect chicken thighs, I’ve got some good ones for you to check out. These are simple recipes that you can whip up in no time.

baked chicken thighs in a round pan

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs

pieces of grilled chicken thighd on a wooden platter

Chili Lime Chicken

Creamy chicken and spinach topped with parmesan and basil

Creamy Chicken and Spinach Pasta

cooked chicken thighs in the basket of an air fryer

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Recommended Equipment

  • 12 inch cast iron skillet– this is the cast iron skillet that is used in my kitchen
  • Fish Spatula– or other spatula. I just love how big and wide the fish spatula is, it is perfect for flipping large pieces of meat.

What to Serve with Chicken Thighs

Hungry for more? Make this simple cast iron chicken thigh recipe into a full meal with simple sides. We like to pair it with garlic parmesan green beans, cornbread, sliced fruit or a simple salad. Really any cooked vegetable would make a perfect side dish to cooked chicken thighs.

If you are looking for other Family Friendly meals or desserts follow along with me on YouTube or Facebook where I share simple recipes to help you with Feeding Your Fam! Make sure to subscribe so you will be notified when a new recipe is shared.

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cooked chicken thigh on a wooden cutting board
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Cast Iron Chicken Thighs

Cast Iron Chicken Thighs recipe is the best way to get perfectly cooked juicy, crispy chicken every time. Up your chicken dinner game by cooking in a cast iron skillet to create an irresistible golden crust while keeping the meat tender on the inside.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 381kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs 6 ounces
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400℉.
  • Combine sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder and paprika.
  • Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Season chicken thighs on all sides with seasoning mix.
  • Heat cast iron pan over medium-high heat and add oil to bottom of pan.
  • Cook chicken, skin side down, for 3-5 minutes until browned and crisp. Flip and cook on the other side until browned.
  • Place the cast iron skillet into the oven and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165℉. This can take up to 35 minutes for a 6 ounce chicken thigh. Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

Notes

  • Nutrition facts are just an estimate of the ingredients used
  • Store any leftover chicken thighs in an air tight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. 

Nutrition

Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 403mg | Potassium: 311mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Chicken, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Chicken Recipes
Keyword: Cast Iron Chicken Thighs
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