I have to admit, I’ve never been a huge fan of chicken thighs – or any dark meat really, but The Boyfriend loves it so I’ve spent…many years trying to find a way to love it. This accidental concoction (in that, I didn’t know just how good it would actually be) has been the answer to all our dark vs light meat problems and it is so quick to put together! You can even prep the night before if needed, for all you meal plan lovers like me.
Large ziplock bag
Cast iron skillet
4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp curry powder of choice
1 tbsp Tandoori Masala
2 tsp turmeric (optional)
High-temp cooking oil (avocado oil, tallow/lard)
Salt, to taste
This recipe can definitely be prepped the night before, but as long as you’ve got at least four hours, it’ll be just as good.
Place chicken thighs in a large ziplock bag. Gently add all spices/seasonings and a pinch of salt to the bag – I like to be a little strategic about this and try to pour the dried spices down the sides of the bag rather than directly onto the chicken. This will make it a little easier to distribute.
Seal the ziplock bag, being sure to let out most of the air as well. Toss, shake, scrunch, and generally fondle the bag to evenly distribute the spice blend across all chicken pieces. No need to get too hung up on it, but I usually spend about a minute to spread everything around.
Open the ziplock bag and add the entire can of coconut milk. Reseal, again letting out excess air. Gently shake and maneuver the contents of the bag so that all the meat gets hit with some coconut milk – it can be really helpful to lay the bag flat in this situation.
Place the bag in a large bowl, making sure the chicken remains covered with coconut milk. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
Pre-heat a large cast iron pan on medium-high heat. Also pre-heat your oven to 425*F on the convection setting.
Once your pan is hot enough, add your high-smoke-point cooking fat of choice (basically just don’t use olive oil) – we really like to use avocado oil or the Epic brand Berkshire Pork lard.
Do not rinse or dry the chicken thighs. Place the thighs skin side down in the cast iron pan over medium heat. The goal here is to get the skin nice and crispy, we’re not really trying to cook the meat yet. After about five minutes, flip the chicken thighs so the skin is now facing up.
Transfer the pan (with the chicken still in it) to the oven to finish cooking – about 15 minutes. You should have a perfectly cooked and perfectly crispy chicken thigh! Thighs are ready to serve when internal temperature reads 165*. If when you poke the meat, the juices run clear, that’s also a good sign that you’re ready to dig in!
Serve immediately with sautéed spinach, caramelized onions, or whatever other veggies strike your fancy.