Chicken thighs are quite likely my favourite part of the chicken to cook. While I am a huge fan of chicken wings, the thigh has much more meat. Another great thing about chicken thighs is that they are very forgiving. You do not need to worry about overcooking and drying them out like what can happen with breast meat.
I love cooking chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet. I start them in the skillet on top of the stove and then put the skillet right in the oven to finish baking the thighs. This is a great way to cook them so the skin is nice and crispy and the meat is tender and still juicy.
This recipe has the chicken thighs cooked in an Asian inspired sauce I made. The sauce has the juice from fresh tangerines, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and sriracha. Fruity, spicy and sweet, this sauce is so delicious and infused into the meat of the chicken thighs.
Pour the sauce all over the chicken after they have been sautéed on the stovetop and just before they go in the oven to finish baking. Turn the chicken thighs a couple times to make sure that the chicken has been coated in the tangerine sauce. Make sure that they are skin side down when they go in the oven.
After they have been cooking in the oven for 15 minutes, flip the thighs to skin side up and cook another 10 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat should be around 180F. This is a fair bit higher than the recommended internal temperature of 165F for chicken, but I find that cooking the thighs up to 180F helps to break down the connective tissues of the meat and it pretty much just falls off the bone.
Coming out of the oven, garnish the chicken with sliced green onions. The presentation of the chicken looks so nice in the cast iron skillet, that I sometimes place the skillet on a trivet right in the middle of the table.
These tangerine chicken thighs are great served alongside some rice and stir fried vegetables.
Tangerine Chicken Thighs
- 3 tbsp oil
- 6 chicken thighs bone-in and skin on
- 3 tangerines
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sriracha sauce
- 4 green onions sliced
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Heat oil in cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Place chicken thighs, skin side down and cook for 12-16 minutes, or until the skin is browned.
- While the chicken is cooking in the skillet, make the tangerine sauce. Halve the tangerines and squeeze the juice out into a small mixing bowl. Whisk the juice with the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and sriracha.
- Pour the sauce all over the chicken thighs. Turn to coat and then turn again to have the skin side down. Place the tangerine halves in the cast iron skillet as well.
- Place the cast iron skillet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Use tongs to flip the chicken thighs so the skin side is up and bake another 10 minutes or until the chicken thighs register an internal temperature of 180F. Remove from the oven and let the chicken thighs rest for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with sliced green onions and serve.