Friend: At what temperature did you bake it?
Me: 350... Or maybe 400... 375! I'm not sure... I bet I use a different temperature each time.
Friend: And for how long?
Me: Until it's done.
Yes, I can be very unhelpful at times. Then there are those recipes I just throw together, and Paul says "this is really good! You should write down what you did!" And of course I don't, and the recipe is forever forgotten.
But not this time! Because I'm writing it down! And I've made it a few times already, so I haven't forgotten it!
This chicken is so super easy. That's why I call it Lazy Chicken. We usually have it on a Monday, since I buy the chicken fresh that day (not because we like fresh food but because we are all out of frozen chicken and won't have time to thaw it).
This is so simple. Seriously. Here's your ingredient list:
1. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. You could probably use drumsticks or wing drumettes too. We use thighs. The key is to have the bones and the skin.
2. Open your spice cabinet. Pick what goes good on chicken. I use salt and poultry seasoning, which has thyme and sage and something else. Sometimes I'll add pepper or paprika to spice things up. I bet lemon pepper could be good too. Don't know. Haven't tried it. Pick what you like. I don't recommend omitting the salt though. It brings out the flavor.
Ok, so if that paragraph was too long, you need:
1. Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
2. Salt and Poultry Seasoning
This is the super awesome lazy part. Open the package of chicken. Sprinkle the salt and seasoning liberally on both sides.
If you're feeling ambitious, you can even lift the skin and season underneath it so the flavor gets in the meat. I only do this sometimes. I also sometimes trim away the extra fat and skin when I'm being an overachiever, but that is totally optional.
The fat melts away during cooking, and I peel off the skin (might nibble a bite or two) when I eat it. So it's healthy, right?
Put the chicken in a big oven-safe pan (or Dutch oven if you're fancy--I'm not) skin down. Oh! I just remembered another shortcut: you can sprinkle salt and seasoning on the bottom of the pan for quick, instant seasoning when you place the chicken in there. Remember, skin-side down!
Then depending on how soon dinner is, you can either stick the whole thing in the fridge to let the flavors penetrate the meat or just preheat your oven to... 350?
While your oven heats, it's time to sear the chicken. Really you're going to cook most of it on the stovetop. Crank the burner up to high, and cook that chicken. No oil needed because it'll cook in its own fat. Yum. It can be a little messy; the melted fat likes to jump out of the pan, so if you have one of those mesh oil guards, it might not be a bad idea to use it. I don't have one. My stovetop gets messy. Avoid this recipe on cleaning day.
Check the temperature every 5 minutes or so. Usually at this point, my kids are hovering around the kitchen, wondering if it's dinnertime yet, so I get them to be helpful and set the table.
By the way, while the chicken is crisping up on the stovetop, you should start cooking your sides. This time we had green beans (from a frozen bag... shame) and macaroni and cheese (from a box... shame again).
And there you have it. Lazy Chicken. And lazy green beans. And lazy mac and cheese. It's what's for dinner.
If you're like me and scroll through the rambling part of a blog to get to the succinct recipe, here it is:
10 chicken thighs
Salt and Poultry Seasoning to taste
1. Sprinkle salt and seasoning into a large oven-safe pan or dutch oven, and place the chicken thighs in the pan skin-side down.
2. Liberally sprinkle the other side of the chicken with salt and seasoning.
3. If not cooking immediately, refrigerate. Otherwise, preheat oven to 350F.
4. Sear chicken on the stovetop, flipping once or twice, until skin is golden.
5. Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer. If it does not read 165F, put it in the oven. Check temperature every 5 minutes until done.