Two Recipes on the Menu Every Week at My House

There are two meals I prepare nearly every week—Crispy Skin Chicken Thighs and Honey Garlic Salmon. These are my go-tos because both are quick and easy—and so delicious they never grow old.

Even my grandsons, Sam 3 and Eli 9 agree. You should see them dive into this chicken. They’d eat it every meal if they had their way!

crispy chicken thighs



This recipe is sophisticated enough for company, but perfect for a hectic mid-week dinner, too. The ingredients are shockingly few. The secret for success and rave reviews from old and young alike is technique. It’s all about the technique! Get this right and you’ll have a new technique to use in other applications.

The secret is cooking chicken thighs skin-side down in a cast-iron skillet (or heavy, non-stick skillet) hot enough and long enough to render out the fat. This makes the skin crispy and, according to Eli and Sam, even better than bacon! I do agree (it’s so good), but what I love even more is that skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs are cheap. I buy them in bulk at Costco, where they are fresh, plump and packaged in groups of 4.


  • 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 475 F. Season chicken, both sides, with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch cast-iron (preferably) or heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking.

Nestle chicken thighs in skillet, skin side down, and cook uncovered without disturbing for exactly 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, 12 minutes. I set a timer for 12 minutes and stand there patiently for the timer to count down. If it begins to smoke, turn down the heat. You want this to sizzle but not burn.

When the time dings, transfer uncovered skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes. Again, set a timer. 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. Optional: Drizzle with Teriyaki Sauce. Serve with white rice and more Teriyaki Sauce for passing. Serves: 4 to 6.

Optional Teriyaki Sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup water

Combine ingredients in a large saucepan over high heat. The larger the pan, the faster it will reduce. For me it takes about 10 minutes, but it depends on the size of the pan you use.

Bring to boil, then turn heat down and simmer until it reduces by half. The consistency should be like a light syrup. Bring to room temperature before using.

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  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (traditional or light)
  • 1 tablespoon any vinegar (but not balsamic)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced


  • 2 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients to make the sauce. Set aside.

Pat salmon dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Drizzle oil in a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Place salmon in the pan, and cook the first side for 3 minutes. Turn, then cook the other side for 2 minutes, or to taste.

Pour sauce over salmon. Cook for 1 minute or until it starts to thicken slightly.

Remove onto serving plates. Drizzle sauce over the top and garnish with sesame seeds as desired. Serves 2. This recipe doubles well, to serve 4.

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Photo credit: Bon Appetite

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3 replies
  1. Laurie
    Laurie says:

    My chicken ended up really dark and the house is very smoky! Should the chicken be put in the oven skin side down? That’s what I did because it didn’t say to flip until after the 13 minute oven time.

  2. Jennifer Martin Van Rosmalen
    Jennifer Martin Van Rosmalen says:

    I’m going to be really bold here and tell you that you are poisoning yourself cooking with vegetable oil. Not kidding here. Cooking with vegetable oil (and eating copious amounts of sugar) is the leading cause of heart disease. The best possible thing you can do to improve this meal and your health would be to cook in lard from grass-fed pigs (can be ordered online and in some health food stores), nitrate/nitrate-free bacon grease (easy to find), or butter from grass-fed cows (Kerrygold). I’m totally serious. The U.S. government is doing a complete 180 on their 1970s suggestion for people to remove saturated fat and replace it with vegetable oils because they are now accepting the studies and scientific data that have been around since the 1970s (or even 1930s) that said saturated fat does not cause heart disease and they are realizing that the heart disease that has been occurring in massive numbers and growing exponentially since the 1970s is all due to people being told to cook with vegetable oils and eat margarine. If everyone goes back to how people ate before the 1930s (when heart disease was first documented), we can virtually eradicate heart disease and other autoimmune disorders. This would include cutting sugar, cutting processed foods, cutting hydrogenated oils, etc. Your brain and skin and organs and hormones and heart all need saturated fats and cholesterol naturally found in these fats, not highly processed vegetable oils.

  3. Dee Dee Round Rock
    Dee Dee Round Rock says:

    Where do you buy salmon for a low price? Or do you just pay $10+ per pound because it’s so good and good for you?


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