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Dinner Recipe

Pan Seared Crispy Chicken with Tomato and Greens

Spencer Huey

Pan Seared Crispy Chicken with Tomato and Greens

Spencer Huey

This is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken. The chicken is flavorful, juicy, and has a crunchy skin, plus it’s cooked through in about 15 minutes. Deboning chicken thighs isn’t too tough and after a few, you’ll get the hang of it. If you prefer, use boneless thighs, but you won’t have the skin, which is so tasty. Reduce the cooking time if you use these.

The acidity in the tomatoes goes really well with the earthy greens, you could even use a couple of canned tomatoes if you wanted.

Serves 4


6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt
Neutral oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 bunches of tender greens (chard, Tuscan kale, spinach, etc.), tough stems removed, cut into 1-inch ribbons, well rinsed, and spun dry
1-pint large cherry tomatoes, such as Juliet, halved, or 2 large tomatoes, cut in chunks
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
Parsley, a few springs, chopped fine


Debone the thighs with a sharp small knife by cutting underneath the bone in the center of the thigh and working your knife to both ends to loosen and then remove it. Season the chicken liberally with salt on both sides. Season beforehand (the night before; even an hour before is great).

Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-low heat put in a little neutral oil and, working in two batches, lower the thighs in the skin side down. Don’t crowd the pan. Let the thighs cook undisturbed until the chicken skin gets golden brown and crispy and the meat is about 75% cooked through 7 to 10 minutes.

Flip the chicken and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes until lightly brown and no longer pink in the center. Remove thighs to a plate, cover loosely with foil and let rest. Repeat cooking the remaining thighs.

Drain off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from the skillet, return it to medium heat, and add the garlic. Let it sizzle for about 1 minute until fragrant but not browned. Add the greens, a handful at a time, tossing until they shrink down, seasoning each batch lightly with salt.

The greens will release liquid which will deglaze the pan and make the greens full of chicken flavor. Add a splash or two of water if the pan seems dry, cover the pan, and cook until all greens have wilted slightly, 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the greens.

Stir in the tomatoes and season with salt. Cover and cook until the tomatoes start to break down but don’t become a sauce, and the greens are tender. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Pour any accumulated chicken juices into the greens and slice the chicken. On a platter or plates, make a bed of the greens and tomatoes, placing the chicken on the top. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

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