Over the weekend my Mom gave me this beautiful princess house pan. I’ve been eager to break it in all week! I thought about a paella, but I’ve never made paella before so I went with something more familiar. I’ve been in the mood for some fried chicken, but the thought of how much oil I’d be eating along with that chicken, made my liver cringe. What I made instead was pan-fried chicken cooked in it’s own fat. No additional oils were used, and it came our perfect!
I hope you enjoy these pan-fried, bone-in chicken thighs with a simple mushroom sauce.
We rarely cook bone-in chicken like this in our house. Usually I’ll take the leaner, easier route, and buy boneless & skinless chicken when we do have chicken on the menu. Every now and then however, it’s nice to have a rotisserie chicken, but for some reason or another, they never sit well in our stomachs. Too much fat I suppose.
Whenever I buy raw bone-in chicken, the first thing I do before cooking it is rinse all the pieces and remove any excess fat. Some fat is good, just not all of it. Otherwise, it WILL be extra greasy, which can be a good thing if you’re into that, but I prefer a balance. Lots of meat, very little skin, moist, and minimal grease. The skin has to have a light crisp bite to it too.
So how does one accomplish this middle ground of having just the right ratio of meat and fat without too much grease? It’s simple! Trim off all the excess fat, and leave just enough skin to cover only the top of the thigh. Use kitchen shears for this. It’s so much easier to cut off the fat with scissors than a knife.
Season both sides with garlic salt, ground coriander seed, and a light sprinkle of crushed black pepper. Cook them on a large non-stick pan with a lid on medium heat.
Now here’s the trick to getting a nice golden crispy piece of skin without having to turn the oven on. Cook the chicken skin side down first. That’s it! This is also the reason why you don’t need to add any additional oil to cook the chicken. The fat that comes off the skin is more than enough to cook everything in this meal. You can even use the oil for Mexican rice if you want that as your side.
After 25 minutes, turn them over and continue to cook for another 15 minutes partially covered.
Continue simmering the sauce with chicken on medium-low for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and sprinkle some minced scallion and chopped cilantro leaves over the chicken if you’d like. Adding fresh herbs at the end of cooking elevates the aromas and flavors of a meal, don’t you think?
Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs in Mushroom Sauce
- 8 pieces of bone-in chicken thighs with skin on
- garlic salt
- ground coriander
- ground black pepper
- 2 scallions
- 16 ounce package sliced mushrooms
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon minced scallion optional garnish
- chopped cilantro leaves optional garnish
- Rinse chicken thighs and remove excess fat with kitchen scissors. Leave some skin on top. Lightly season each side of the thighs with garlic salt, coriander, and pepper. In a large 14" non-stick pan, place the thighs skin side down. Turn on the burner to medium heat and cover, leaving a small opening to create a steam vent. After 25 minutes, flip them over and cook the other side of the thighs for an additional 15 minutes. For crispier skin, flip them over one more time (skin side down this time) and cook and additional five minutes. Turn off the burner and remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- With a large spoon or small ladle, carefully remove all excess oil and any pieces of skin that are left on the pan. Turn the burner back on to medium-low heat and add the minced scallions and sliced mushrooms. Saute for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the milk, water, and cornstarch. Whisk together until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Add the liquid to the pan with mushrooms and scallions. Bring to a low boil, simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with minced scallions and cilantro leaves if desired.