Pan Seared Italian Chicken Thighs

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With no advance planning required, these pan-seared chicken thighs require just a few minutes of work in the kitchen.

This recipe is a great one for using dried spices; as the chicken slowly cooks, it will absorb all of those Italian flavors. There is no need to marinate the meat, simply sprinkle each thigh with seasonings and drop it in the pan.

Italian seasoned chicken on plate

Pan Seared Chicken Thighs

The hardest part of this recipe is waiting while the chicken slowly cooks on its own. You want the skin to be golden-brown with all the fat rendered before you turn the pieces over.

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This recipe results in incredibly juicy chicken with a crispy skin every time. It is completely worth the wait! Crispy pan seared chicken is a great match for Classic Potato SaladItalian Herb Rice or Rosemary Roasted Potatoes.

Creamy, rich Truffle Mac and Cheese is a fancy spin on comfort food. If you’ve never tasted this awesomeness, you’ve been missing out on this ultimate side dish.

In the mood for some awesome vegetables? Sriracha Honey Roasted Broccoli is a friend and family favorite, as is this Asparagus, Bacon, Corn, and Sweet Potato Skillet.

Italian Chicken Thighs

You’ll need just a few ingredients to make this recipe:

  • light-flavored olive oil or coconut oil
  • chicken thighs
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • dried oregano
  • dried basil
  • herbs de Provence, optional
close up photo of pan seared chicken thighs

Pan Fried Chicken Thighs

All of the fried chicken flavor we love really is possible without deep frying or standing over the stove the whole time.

With a few tips in hand, you’re going to be making some amazing pan fried chicken in no time.

  • Start with a heavy skillet.
  • Cooking the chicken uncovered is a required step, so a splatter-screen for your skillet will help cut down on the mess on the stovetop.
  • A small bowl with a cup of vinegar set next to the stove will greatly reduce the lingering aroma of this recipe through the rest of the night.
Pan Seared Chicken in skillet with striped towel

How Long To Cook Chicken Thighs on Stove

  1. Pour a tablespoon of oil into a large stainless or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. (A non-stick skillet will work as well, although it isn’t required.)
  2. Generously sprinkle the skin side of the chicken thighs with all of the spices and then place them in the hot skillet, skin side down. Sprinkle the other side of the thighs and then, without moving them, cook uncovered for about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Let the chicken thighs cook until the fat has rendered and the skin is deep golden brown and crisp; this could take as long as 30 minutes. You’ll know how long to pan fry chicken thighs, when the skin no longer sticks to the pan. If the skin is sticking to the pan, it likely isn’t finished on that side. Reduce the heat as needed if the skin starts to burn before it is evenly golden brown.
  4. Flip the thighs over and continue to cook for about 20 more minutes. When the meat closest to the bone is cooked through, the chicken is done.
close up of chicken with Italian seasonings

If you’re looking for more hands-off chicken dinners, this Slow Cooker Whole Chicken by The Little Kitchen looks fantastic. It’s incredibly simple and the whole chicken goes in the slow cooker in just a few minutes.

Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs with Green Beans and Potatoes is one of my go-to chicken dinners. It takes less than 5 minutes to pull this entire chicken dinner together and get it into the oven.

Cheesy Chicken Pasta by Inside BruCrew Life is a one skillet meal that you can make in under 30 minutes. Gooey cheese, pasta, and chicken will have everyone licking their plate clean in a hurry.

BBQ Chicken Stuffed Potatoes are one of our favorite quick and easy meals. With leftover chicken, or a rotisserie chicken, a few potatoes, and some barbecue sauce, you’ll have a delicious meal on the table with very little trouble at all.

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close up of chicken with Italian seasonings

Pan Fried Italian Chicken Thighs

4.80 from 29 votes
With no advance planning required, these pan-seared chicken thighs require just a few minutes of work in the kitchen.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or light flavored olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs depending on size (4 large pieces fill my skillet)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • dried oregano
  • dried basil
  • herbs de Provence

Instructions

  • Warm the oil in a large stainless or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. (A non-stick skillet will work as well, although it isn't required.) Generously sprinkle the skin side of the chicken thighs with spices and then place them in the hot skillet, skin side down.
  • Sprinkle the other side of the thighs and then, without moving them, cook uncovered for about 20-25 minutes. Let them cook until the fat has rendered and the skin is deep golden brown and crisp; this could take as long as 30 minutes.
  • If the skin is sticking to the pan, it likely isn't finished on that side. Reduce the heat as needed if the skin starts to burn before it is evenly golden brown.
  • Turn the thighs over and continue to cook for about 20 more minutes. When the meat closest to the bone is cooked through, the chicken is done.

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcal · Carbohydrates: 0.4g · Protein: 23g · Fat: 28g · Saturated Fat: 7g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g · Monounsaturated Fat: 13g · Trans Fat: 0.1g · Cholesterol: 142mg · Sodium: 111mg · Potassium: 296mg · Vitamin A: 113IU · Calcium: 12mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 7/14/14 – notes and photos updated 2/2/23}

close up photo of crispy chicken pan fried

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Kristina says

    This recipe was delicious! I used boneless skinless thighs (all I had) and they were absolutely delicious! A great weeknight recipe.5 stars

  2. Jean says

    This is awesome! My favorite cut of chicken, too! I foiled the stovetop spatter problem by laying a few of my handy pop-up foil sheets around the pan.. when thighs are done, I just put paper towel over the foil & had easy cleanup! Wonderful recipe.. next time I’ll try with Greek seasoning.5 stars

  3. Kitchen fairy says

    I didn’t think this would work with only 1 tbsp oil but it did! I only had to spend extra time browning the sides of the chicken thighs for uniform appearance, but other than that, they were good to go. Thanks Mary!4 stars

  4. Erica Heisler says

    I’m looking forward to serving this, especially since the recipe includes herbs de Provence (not many recipes I have found do). Thanks!5 stars

  5. Parle Italiano says

    Sorry, which is the Italian part – i.e., were the chickens conceived in Italy? Or was the cock (rooster) singing “Sott’er Celo De Roma” while he was doing his nefarious deed?1 star

    • Mary says

      Thanks for the laugh, my friend. Italian spices season the chicken. Although, singing chickens conceived in Italy sure would make for a fun story.5 stars

  6. Rob says

    You did not include what level heat to cook the chicken at, making an otherwise good looking recipe useless to novice chefs such as myself.

    • Julie says

      A follow up: these were SO GOOD and so easy to cook. I left the first side on too long on medium heat- so I knew better to turn it down on second side- but even though there were a few burnt spots on one side we LOVED THEM! There really weren’t that many spatters either- I love how you don’t even need much oil! It’s healthier and less messy! I always put too much or too little spices on things but you really can’t go wrong with these- I’m glad I aired on the side of too much. Thanks for the easy juicy week night chicken!! 😁❤️👍 and thanks for your quick response. I got your response right before I started! Was so perfect and helpful.5 stars

  7. Margaret Bay says

    Thank you so much for a true Pan Fried chicken thigh recipe! Other recipes state to put in the oven following browning. My oven does not bake currently; only broils. I have been sauteing, & braising thighs for a few months. Most of the time the thighs are not cooked through. I have thighs marinating in fridge now. Made-up marinade, as follows: olive oil, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, pepper and lime.
    I did not measure. The marinade is a bit salty when i tasted it. However, it is a short marinade-under one hour. It should be ok. The important part is i now know how long to cook the thighs on the stove top!!!! Thanks again. I will be checking back to your site often!!5 stars

  8. Melanie says

    These chicken thighs are so flavorful my whole family loves them! I do not fry them I bake them and I’m sure they come out just as delish as the pan fry! Thanks so much for the recipe!🙏🏻👍🏻👍🏻5 stars

  9. M says

    Just made this an hour ago – awesome ! Don’t use extra oil – 1 TBS is enough – trust. I used loose genes – worked great. Keep temp med low so it cooks inside but doesn’t burn. I added a TBS of butter to the oil half way through – took off all but 2 tbss after it was done cooking and mixed my maranaira into the house – oil – cooked spices after removing the chicken
    Serving the flavoured marinara over pasta W chicken on the side. So easy. Does take a full hour to slow Fry – but worth it.5 stars

  10. Genessa says

    I love this recipe. My daughter said I need to make this every week. It was very easy and the cooking time perfectly matched a “CRISP GARLIC YUKON GOLD POTATOES” recipe I found.4 stars