I know there are quite a few recipes for cast iron chicken online, but this is how I do mine. It’s adapted from this Nashville Un-Fried Hot Chicken from The Defined Dish (which is delish, by the way), which is apparently adapted from Bon Appetit. So here’s my adaptation of an adaptation. Whew.
I love making this, because it gives you super flavorful chicken with extra crispy skin, but it’s ready in under 30 minutes and you don’t have to go to the trouble of breading it. It’s a one pan wonder, really.
So this is the basic recipe but I change it up pretty regularly with different herbs/spices/etc. If I have a lemon, I’ll cut it into quarters and toss them into the skillet right before I put it in the oven. Same for garlic cloves, rosemary, or thyme or all the above.
3 to 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or ghee or vegetable oil or pretty much any fat with a high smoke point)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
12 inch cast iron skillet
Metal (not silicone or plastic) tongs
Splatter guard (not required, but very strongly recommended, unless you like cleaning grease off of everything within three feet of your stove).
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and preheat your oven to 425 degrees. While that’s heating, pat your chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Season the skin side with half the salt, then season the meat side with the remaining salt and seasonings.
When the skillet is hot, add coconut oil the skillet and make sure the entire bottom of the pan is coated.
Place the chicken breasts in the skillet, skin side down, and cover with your splatter guard. Cook for 10 minutes. Resist the urge to fuss with it. Leave it alone and let it cook.
After 10 minutes, remove the splatter guard and transfer the skillet to the oven and bake another 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and flip the chicken skin side up. Return the skillet to the oven and bake another 5-10 minutes, until chicken reaches 165*. (So total cook time is going to be 10 minutes on the stove top and 15-20 minutes in the oven.)