Crispy Chicken Thighs with Pasta and Pesto

Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

This stovetop-to-oven method yields crisp, dark-golden skin and juicy, tender meat.

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Recipe from Southern Living

More From Southern Living


Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 to 4 lb. skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 7 thighs)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces cellentani pasta
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Arugula Pesto

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  2. 2. Heat oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat until oil just begins to smoke.
  3. 3. Place chicken in skillet, skin sides down; reduce heat to medium-high, and cook 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; discard drippings.
  4. 4. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Toss with chicken broth and 3 Tbsp. Arugula Pesto. Add pasta mixture to skillet. Place chicken, skin sides up, on pasta.
  5. 5. Bake at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes. Dollop with additional Arugula Pesto.
  6. Olives & Caperberries: Omit pasta, broth, and pesto. Prepare as directed through Step 3. Cut 1 lemon into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Stir together 1 cup pitted large Spanish olives, 1 cup large caperberries with stems, 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds, and 1/4 cup dry white wine in skillet; add lemon slices. Place chicken, skin sides up, in skillet. Bake as directed. Sprinkle with parsley.
  7. Poblanos & Onions: Omit pasta, chicken broth, and pesto. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 3. Place 3 large poblano peppers, seeded and chopped, and 1/2 large white onion, chopped, in skillet. Place chicken, skin sides up, in skillet. Bake as directed. Remove from oven, and top with 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro and 1/4 cup crumbled queso blanco.
  8. Potatoes & Rosemary: Omit pasta, chicken broth, and pesto. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 3. Place 2 lb. small fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces, in a single layer in skillet, and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary and 1/4 tsp. salt. Place chicken, skin sides up, in skillet, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary. Bake as directed.
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