4.48 from 19 votes
Perfect Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
55 mins
Juicy, tender chicken thighs with a golden-crisp skin are possible with just a spoonful of oil and a bit of patience.
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 278 kcal
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or light flavored olive oil
  • 4-6 chicken thighs depending on size (4 large pieces fill my skillet)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional spices: garlic and paprika
  1. Pour the 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.) 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.
  2. 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. Enjoy!

Please note that a splatter-screen for your skillet will help cut down on the mess on the stovetop and 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.