Skillet Roasted Chicken Thighs and Fresh Asparagus (Serves 1-2)
Cooking chicken thighs with vegetables in a cast iron skillet is magical. If you are just getting started as a cook, make this meal for your family and friends. They will conclude you have serious talent.
The grocery stores where I shop have been displaying asparagus prominently for several weeks now. I had been baking asparagus in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes with a little salt, garlic powder, and black pepper, and then drizzling it with extra virgin olive oil before serving, but I have a new favorite approach now – roasting the asparagus in a covered cast iron skillet with chicken thighs at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Prep and Cook Time: 40-45 minutes
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 pound of fresh asparagus
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse asparagus, chop woody ends off with a knife, and cut stems in half. Pile asparagus pieces in a bowl and season with a dusting of salt and garlic powder. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to a cast iron skillet over high heat. Dust both sides of chicken with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Brown chicken 4 minutes on one side and then turn to brown the other side another 4 minutes. Cover with a close-fitting lid while browning to minimize splatter. While the second side is browning, add asparagus to the skillet and arrange around the chicken thighs. Return lid to skillet. Once the second side has had 4 minutes to brown, move the skillet to the oven and let everything roast together for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. When done, pull from the oven and transfer to plates. Enjoy!
Notes: I tend to eat a pound of vegetables in one sitting when they are cooked with chicken thighs, but I am a big eater.
The inspiration for this meal came from page 29 of Melissa Joulwan’s new cookbook Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat. Melissa’s recipe calls for skinless, boneless chicken thighs, but I like the extra fat produced by the skin. And I save chicken bones to make my own broth. Maybe you should try it both ways and see which you like best.
I bought my cast iron skillet recently – a 12-inch Lodge Logic with matching iron cover. A cast iron skillet might be the greatest cooking tool ever. The 12-inch size is seriously heavy when loaded with food and big enough to cook for a family, but I don’t think I could get enough vegetables in a 10-inch skillet to satisfy me. Lodge is a great brand of cookware. Check it out in my online Store.
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