Pan-seared chicken with fresh lemon and thyme

Chicken and lemons – a classic flavor paring made in heaven.

While personally I don’t think this recipe needs much instruction, here it is for those who’d like to learn the trick to achieving crispy chicken skin without flour.

2014-04-26 18.38.00

The acid from the lemons will cut through the fat from pan-searing dark chicken meat.



  • a pat of butter
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 2 lemons – 1 halved, 1 sliced thin
  • Splash of white wine
  • Fresh thyme
  • Plain rice (for serving)
  • Peas and corn (for serving)


The trick to crispy skin is placing the meat skin-side down over high heat in a cast-iron skillet. To do so, heat up a cast iron skillet for about 4-5 minutes, then add the pat of butter. When melted, place the chicken skin-side down on the skillet, then proceed to not touch it for approximately 4-5 minutes until the skin turns golden brown. SIMPLE!

Squeeze both halves of the lemon over the chicken, then flip the chicken to its other side and cook for another 3 minutes. Around the chicken add the rest of the sliced lemons, a splash of white wine, and let the chicken cook for another 10-15 minutes until juices run clear.

Remove the chicken from the skillet, and serve with pan juices, plus fresh thyme. Serve with plain rice and peas and corn (or other veggies) for a refreshing and tasty dinner.


Crispy skin

I wrote a lengthy blog-post, then internet-surfed, then accidentally closed the window and lost it all 😦

Despite that, I’m glad it forced me to dial back on text because there is no need for wordiness here. I didn’t do anything impressive with this chicken. I just brined it (salt water overnight), dried it really well, rubbed it all over with butter, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary, and used a cheapo vertical chicken roaster that I bargained to get for free with a spice rack on Craigslist.

Then I roasted it for 20 minutes per pound at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and then an additional 10 minutes on 450 degrees for super crispy skin.

And there it is. One of my favorite foods in the world: roast chicken.

I like to tap on the skin with a spoon to hear how it sounds, a la Amelie.

Also featured in the 2nd photo is R.’s vegan chili, which really does put me to shame. It is the delicious, healthy, almost no-fat, stark contrast to my oily, self-indulgent bird. I’ll get better with the health/responsibility factor… maybe next week when my family and friends will be having their annual half-vegan, half-carnivore Thanksgiving.

Next up? Homemade chicken broth for chicken noodle soup and matzoh ball soup. It’ll have to wait though, its going to be a busy week. This weekend I’ll be updating from San Francisco, where my cousin is having his wedding, and where I’ll be eating myself silly!!! For now, the chicken bones will have to sit pretty in the freezer.