Cheap and Delicious {Perfect Panfried Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks}

I’m not a huge fan of dark chicken meat. Something about the texture has always disturbed me. In the pursuit of a lower food budget, though, we buy a lot of chicken thighs and drumsticks. Until recently, I would cook those up for the hubby and content myself with the sides. I’ve always preferred veggies and grains, anyway. Recently, though, that changed, and it’s all due to this recipe.

Cooked to within an inch of their life (yes, I fully recognize the irony of that statement-the chicken is already dead), these panfried chicken thighs have changed my opinion of dark meat. Sometimes, I even start thinking I’m eating deep-fried, breaded chicken.

As a bonus, if you use cast iron, you’ll season your pan in the process (don’t be surprised if you set off your smoke alarm, too).


  • bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or drumsticks (as long as they fit in your pan, use as many chicken pieces as you like)
  • 4 Tb olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • heavy duty, oven safe frying pan, preferably cast iron


1) Preheat oven to 450 F.

2) Place frying pan over med-high heat. Add oil. Heat.


3) Meanwhile, rinse chicken. Place chicken skin side up on a plate. Generously salt and pepper skin side.


4) When oil just barely begins to smoke, place chicken pieces skin side down in frying pan. Set a timer for 15 minutes.

5) While chicken cooks, salt and pepper un-seasoned side of the chicken. Nudge chicken pieces occasionally to make sure they don’t stick to pan.


6) After fifteen minutes, transfer pan to stove. Set timer for 15 another minutes.

7) After fifteen minutes, flip chicken pieces. Return to stove. Set timer for 10 minutes.

8) Finally, remove chicken from the stove. Let cool for a few minutes.




By the way, don’t waste that delicious oil from the cooked chicken. When you’re done, remove the chicken from the pan and sautee some greens, such as kale, in the leftover oil. Delicious!


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