I almost always buy chicken with the skin removed, simply because it's much (much much much) easier to find. But I love crispy skin. The crunch before you get a bite of a juicy chicken thigh is something worth remembering. Something worth savoring.
There are lots of ways to get crispy chicken, but when I got a jar of duck fat from FatWorks, I read up on the best ways to use duck fat and learned that it's one of the best fats to use when baking chicken to get super crispy skin. The deal was sealed: I was making chicken.
I bought bone-in chicken thighs and pulled out my cast iron. I mixed the duck fat with garlic (plenty, plenty of garlic), rosemary, and lemon zest. I rubbed the chicken down, added a few lemon wedges as a last minute touch, and popped it in the oven and waited.
Crispy skin takes time. It takes time, and heat, and sufficient air flow.
How to get the crispiest chicken skin:
Remove excess moisture: pat chicken dry before cooking
Put the fat until the skin, like duck fat or butter. This creates a barrier that keeps the skin dry
Bake chicken at 450° with convection on (air flow!)
Have patience - but not too much
For crispy skin on all sides, keep the chicken raised above your roasting pan with a grate or turkey roasting pan. I don't own a turkey roasting pan so I just used my skillet, and the tops of the chicken thighs still got perfectly golden and crispy. Of course, the bottoms can soak up all the juice this way, which I'm ok with. But if you really want that crispy skin 360 degrees around your chicken, use a roasting pan.
P.S., you could also use butter or ghee in this recipe. I used FatWorks grass-fed ghee in this peanut butter stuffed grain-free brownie recipe two weeks ago, and if you love buttery flavor, you'll love using their ghee in this chicken recipe.
FatWorks provided me with product for this blog post, but the recipes and opinions are all my own. Working with brands to develop wholesome recipes is one way I keep Foraged Dish going! FatWorks helps me stock the pantry and keep the blog going. I only work with brands that I truly enjoy and use.
Serves: 4 | Total Time: 45 minutes
- 4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin on
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Zest of 1 lemon - then cut the remaining lemon into wedges
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
- 3 tablespoons plus duck fat
- Preheat your oven to 425° F with convection on, if your oven has convection.
- Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and place skin-side up in a cast iron skillet.
- In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and 1 heaping tablespoon rosemary. Add the duck fat, and combine until ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Using your hands, spread the fat mixture between the chicken skin and the chicken thigh, loosening the skin as you go.
- Arrange lemon wedges around chicken (avoid putting any wedges right up against the chicken, as it will add moisture, preventing crispiness), and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F and the skin is crispy.
- Allow to cool 5 minutes. Garnish with reserved rosemary, and serve.