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"Jazz, We've Got" Pan Fried Jerk Chicken Thighs

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With enough sophistication for family Sunday dinners, yet simple and easy enough for a quick weeknight dish, these pan-fried chicken thighs with jerk spice are the perfect main dish chicken entree.

These tender juicy thighs are deboned and pan-fried in a cast-iron skillet creating a flavorful and super crispy dish.

Keeping the skin on makes these boneless thighs next level and the thighs can be cooked in under 30 minutes.

Chicken thighs in cast iron skillet

Beats and Eats Pairing

So what's the scenario? I want fried chicken, but don't really want fried chicken. These pan fried chicken thighs are the solution. You get serious crispiness and a tender and juicy inside without frying and all the extra work that comes with it. I want jerk chicken, but don't want to fire up the grill, then I guess it's baked jerk chicken in the form of these pan-roasted thighs.

As a kid I preferred white meat, particularly breasts, but out of disappointment associated with black alpha male hierarchy I discovered the wonders of chicken thighs. In my house, the big dog in the house got the big piece of chicken which was always the breast. 

I'm not sure if I were really ever into breasts; it was more about challenging tradition, rules, and authority. At the end of the day, I found my way and subscribed to the low end theory and passed on the thigh trait to my son. I ain't mad nor bugging out, cause everything is fair when you're living in the city. Keep your breasts and wings, cause thighs are that beautiful jazz we've got!

Pan Fried Chicken Thighs Ingredients

Skin-On, Bone-In Chicken Thighs

Jerk Spice Seasoning Mix 

All the ingredients are pretty hands-free so offer quick and easy, babysitting free cooking. The ingredients are few, however, what's pan fried chicken without technique? Pay attention to the details with this recipe. Cook the thighs skin side down in a cast-iron skillet to render out the fat and make the skin as crisp as possible. When you're done the chicken skin should feel like well cooked crispy bacon. The taste should be of the charts as well with jerk flavor coming through below and above the surface of the skin.

How To Make Jerk Chicken in Skillet (Step By Step)

Step 1: Debone & Season the Chicken

Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears cut along both sides of the bone to remove. 

Liberally rub the seasoning mix all over the chicken. Using your finger lift up the middle part of the skin and apply some of the rub underneath the skin. Note you want to leave the edges of the skin attached to the chicken

Step 2: Brown the chicken

Heat oil in a  cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Step 3: Roast the chicken

Preheat oven 475 degrees F. Transfer skillet to oven and cook 10 more minutes. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Finish the chicken with a last sprinkle of seasoning.

Chicken thighs in cast iron skillet

Pan Fried Chicken Thighs Consideration and Tips

You can enjoys these bone-in or out, but I prefer boneless. Feel free to ask your butcher or meat guys to de-bone the chicken thighs for you, but be prepared for a "no" response. Don't worry as it's easy to remove a bone from chicken thighs.

This recipe works with any seasoning. Use your preferred seasoning with the technique and you'll be good. My favorite seasoning is jerk seasoning so it's what I used here.

Cook times will vary depending on type of skillet used. Watch the temperature - if you cook too high you can easily blacken the chicken on the exterior more than you like.

These jerk chicken thighs pair well with any side. I decided to make jerk bowls so added smashed sweet potatoes, creamy grits,  and Swiss chard. The sweet potatoes provide balance against the slight heat from the jerk seasoning. 

The savory creaminess of the grits offers a contrast texturally to the sweet potatoes rendered crispy from the duck fat and the crispy thighs. The chard picked right from my garden for some farm-to-table action lightens the dish up and along with the citrus used in the sauce helps cut through the fat from the duck and that rendered from the chicken thighs.

Generously season the chicken below the skin as well as on the skin.

Use bone-in, skin-on thighs. They are more flavorful and the skin, when cooked properly, provides the crispiness. They are also budget friendly.

Let the cast-iron skillet work its magic, so resist the urge to constantly move and check the chicken. 

The crispy skin is the foundation, the SHOW, for this dish, and frequent checking impedes this.

Let the chicken come to room temperature before cooking.

Dry the chicken with a paper towel before cooking. Dry surface area helps to keep the chicken from sticking during cooking.

This recipe can get smoky so turn the vents on high and/or open your windows. Otherwise, you'll be fanning your smoke alarm vents a while

Also, try them with any of these:

Coconut Ginger Rice

Duck Fat Smashed Sweet Potatoes

Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts w/ Citrus-Fish Sauce

Cauliflower Curry

Jollof Rice

Curried Collard Greens

Yuca Fries

For similar recipes you might like, try one of these:

Instant Pot Jerk Chicken

Instant Pot Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

Jerk Fried Chicken

Jerk Chicken Wings

Jerk Roasted Cauliflower

Jerk Smoked Oxtail

Jerk Chicken Leg Quarters

Jerk Baby Back Ribs

Whole Smoked Cauliflower with Jerk Spice

Jerk Marinated Roasted Onions

Jerk BBQ Sauce

Making Pan Fried Chicken

If you make these delicious jerk pan fried chicken thighs or any other from the site, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.

Chicken thighs in cast iron skillet

Pan Roasted Jerk Chicken Thighs

Crispy chicken thighs rubbed with aromatic and flavorful Caribbean jerk seasoning mix, then seared and roasted in a cast-iron skillet rendering crackling crispy skin with a tender and juicy center.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
5 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 328kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

  • 4 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoon Dry Jerk Spice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 475°. Season chicken with jerk spice, salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil in a 12" cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer skillet to oven and cook 10 more minutes. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer.
  • Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Store bought jerk seasoning mix works well. You can also used your preferred spice mix or just go with salt and pepper.

Nutrition

Serving: 0g | Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 374mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1299IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating




Talaia Whisenant

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

Looks so flavorful!

Chandice Probst

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

Wow what a flavorful chicken dish that I love can be made in a pan and oven rather than on the grill. Such easy directions, thank you so much!

ramona

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

This pan-roasted chicken recipe looks amazing and super delicious! I can't wait to make this for dinner tomorrow, definitely looking forward to it. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

Tammy

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

I've gotta say that rub is fantastic!! It goes with so many different dishes. One of the best homemade jerk seasonings! Your chicken looks so fantastic and mouthwatering...great dish!

Katie Crenshaw

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

I followed the directions as written and my chicken came out delicious. It was crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, and packed with flavor! I will have to try the cauliflower curry next!