A close up of food, with Chicken

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.

A close up of food, with Chicken

Crispy Skin Chicken Thighs

This dish is perfect for a hectic mid-week dinner but sophisticated enough for company, too. Even my grandsons, ages 4 and 10, agree. You should see them dive into this chicken. They’d eat it every meal if they had their way. 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, but without burning. 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 conveniently packaged in groups of 4.

Ingredients

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

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 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 timer 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 steamed white or brown rice. 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. I find this takes it takes about 10 minutes, but it depends on the size of the pan you use.

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

A close up of food, with Chicken
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5 from 4 votes

Crispy Chicken Thighs

This dish is perfect for a hectic mid-week dinner but sophisticated enough for company, 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 signature dish you can go to on a minute's notice!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time32 mins
Total Time37 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Japanese
Servings: 4
Calories: 116kcal
Cost: $4

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 6 chicken thigh bone-in, skin-on (about 2.25 lbs)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Sauce

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

Instructions

Chicken

  • Preheat oven to 425 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.
  • When the timer dings, transfer uncovered skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes. Keep an eye on this! You want this to be hot, but not smoking. Again, set a timer.
  • Flip chicken so that it is skin side up; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer.
  • Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serves: 4 to 6.
  • Optional: Drizzle with Teriyaki Sauce. Serve with steamed white or brown rice.

Optional Teriyaki Sauce

  • Combine ingredients in a large saucepan over high heat. The larger the pan, the faster it will reduce. I find this takes about 10 minutes, but it depends on the size of the pan you use.
  • Bring to boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until it reduces by half. The consistency should be like a light syrup. Bring to room temperature to serve.

Notes

Inspired by Recipetineats.com

Nutrition

Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 929mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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Honey Garlic Salmon

Two Recipes.Salmon, prepared this way, is just out of this world! And so quick and easy!

Ingredients

  • 2 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Sauce

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

Garnish, optional

  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly
  • sesame seeds

Instructions

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 according to how thick the filets.

Pour sauce over salmon. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until it starts to thicken slightly.

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

Serving suggestion: Serve alongside steamed rice and vegetables like broccoli or asparagus

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4.25 from 8 votes

Honey Garlic Salmon

Salmon, prepared this way, is just out of this world! And so quick and easy to prepare. 
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2
Calories: 212kcal
Cost: About $7.50

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, traditional or light
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar any type, except NOT balsamic
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely

Salmon

  • 2 6-oz. skinless salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, pepper

Garnishes

  • 2 scallions green ends, sliced thinly
  • sesame seeds

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Pour the oil in a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Place salmon in the pan, and cook the first side for about 3 minutes. Carefully turn with a spatula. Cook the other side another 3 minutes, or to your liking and according to how thick the fillets. Hint: As salmom cooks it turns from a dark "salmon" color, to a lighter pinkish-salmon. Let your eyes help you determine how long to cook depending on if you prefer your salmon more rare rather than well-done.
  • Pour sauce over salmon. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until it starts to thicken slightly.
  • Transfer to serving plates. Gently drizzle sauce over the top and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions as desired. Serves 2. This recipe doubles well, to serve 4.
  • Serving suggestion:This salmon is amazing served alongside steamed rice and vegetables like broccoli or asparagus

Nutrition

Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1010mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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7 replies
  1. Teri says:

    I have a large family and only one cast iron skillet. What’s the best way to make this is bigger quantities? Tonight I cooked one whole batch, then another but the first was cold by the time the second was done. Just wondering if there’s a better way you’ve found.

    Reply
  2. Daria Doering says:

    5 stars
    I think this is my favorite salmon recipe. It’s quick and easy, and the sauce is perfect! It reminds me of the sauce they put on chicken at the now-closed Woo Chee Chong, which I have been trying to duplicate ever since! Thank you, Mary Hunt!

    Reply
  3. Esther says:

    5 stars
    Another great recipe – easy and yummy! Is it just me or does this recipe have to create a big mess? And I even had a splatter screen. Maybe I need a better screen. Even with the mess I plan on making this often.

    Reply
  4. Vivian Ott says:

    5 stars
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for those awesome sounding (& easy to prepare) recipes. Mary, you are THE BEST!! Much love & Many blessings ~ Vivian (from NJ)

    Reply

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