Cast iron chicken thighs are a delicious way to serve crispy, perfectly cooked chicken. Plus, it’s an easy one-pan meal, as the flavorful sauce is cooked in the same pan as the chicken.
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Chicken is a dinnertime staple for good reason. It goes with just about everything, it’s easy to make, and it’s one of those rare foods that everyone in the family will usually eat. We love tender Dutch Oven Chicken Breast, easy Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks, and Juicy Broiled Chicken Breast, but these cast iron chicken thighs are a new favorite!
Perfectly seasoned cast iron chicken thighs are a great option for tonight’s dinner. Pair them with Instant Pot rice or your favorite vegetables and you’ll have a meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes.
Easy Cast Iron Chicken Thighs Recipe
What makes this recipe so good? Seasoning the chicken before baking at high heat ensures wonderfully flavored and crispy skin that’s sure to please everyone at the table. Add sauce made with white wine and lemon juice to really ramp up the flavor and take this dish over the top.
Salt, pepper, and onion powder are all the seasonings you’ll need before you sear the chicken in a little olive oil in your cast iron pan. Then, the chicken goes in the oven at 400°F to cook it completely. You’ll cook garlic in the leftover pan juices released by the chicken – yum! – and add white wine and broth to deglaze the pan. The resulting sauce, infused with lemon juice and fresh thyme and poured over the baked chicken, will have you reaching for another piece.
(For another tasty cast iron recipe, try my Cast Iron Filet Mignon!)
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Chicken thighs — You’ll need 1 pound of chicken thighs.
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Onion powder – This allows you to add loads of flavor without having to fuss with dicing an onion.
- Olive oil
- Dry white wine – Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or Pinot Grigio will all work here.
- Chicken stock – You can use chicken broth instead, but it’s saltier so you’ll want to add less kosher salt to the recipe.
- Fresh thyme leaves
- Lemon juice
- Unsalted butter – Salted butter will work too, but again, you’ll need to use a bit less kosher salt.
How to Make Cast Iron Chicken Thighs
- Prepare: Pat the chicken completely dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
- Season the chicken: Season the thighs all over with the salt, pepper, and onion powder.
- Heat the olive oil: Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Once the oil is hot and begins to shimmer, add the chicken thighs to the pan, skin side down. Sear chicken for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Bake the chicken: Bake the chicken for 12 to 15 minutes until cooked through. Using a probe thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 165°F.
- Sauté the garlic: Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve the drippings. Place the pan back on the stove over medium heat. Sauté the garlic cloves until translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Deglaze pan: To deglaze pan, add the white wine, scraping up the caramelized bits from the bottom. Add the chicken stock, thyme, and lemon juice and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
- Make the sauce: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve the pan sauce over the chicken thighs.
Make sure to pat the chicken thighs completely dry with a paper towel before cooking—excess moisture will keep the skin from getting the best possible sear.
How to Store Cast Iron Chicken Thighs
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the chicken thighs on a baking sheet and warm in a preheated oven at 350ºF for 8-10 minutes, or until heated through.
Bone-in thighs need between 25 and 30 minutes to cook fully. Use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the thighs. They’re finished cooking when the temperature reads 165°F.
The USDA says that as long as all parts of the chicken have reached a minimum internal temperature of 165°F, it is safe to eat. Color does not indicate doneness and the USDA explains that even fully cooked poultry can sometimes show a pinkish tinge in the meat and juices.
No! Since they have a higher fat content and retain moisture during cooking, it’s more difficult to overcook chicken thighs than it is to overcook chicken breasts. Particularly if you buy bone-in chicken thighs, they mostly just fall off of the bone if you leave them in the oven too long!
Cast Iron Chicken Thighs
- Cast iron skillet
- 1 pound chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme minced
- ½ lemon juiced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Pat the chicken completely dry with a paper towel, excess moisture will keep the skin from getting a nice sear. Season the thighs all over with the salt, pepper and onion powder.1 pound chicken thighs, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Once the oil is hot and begins to shimmer, add the chicken thighs to the pan, skin side down. Sear for 4 to 5 minutes until the skin has turned a golden brown. Flip the chicken over, then move the pan to the oven.2 tablespoons olive oil
- Bake the chicken for 12 to 15 minutes until cooked through. If using a probe thermometer, it will reach an internal temperature of 165° F when done.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Place the pan with the chicken drippings back on the stove over medium heat. Saute the garlic cloves until translucent, about 2 minutes.2 garlic cloves
- Add the white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up as much of the caramelized bits from the bottom as possible. Add the chicken stock, thyme and lemon juice. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the pan sauce has reduced slightly.½ cup dry white wine, ¾ cup chicken stock, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, ½ lemon
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve the pan sauce over the chicken thighs.2 tablespoons unsalted butter