Our Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs are perfect for fried chicken lovers who are looking for a healthier option. With only 5 minutes prep, this easy main dish is the perfect protein for a quick dinner on busy nights.

crispy cooked chicken thighs

Crispy Cast Iron Chicken Thighs

If you are in a chicken dinner rut and need something new to wake up your family’s tastebuds, these Cast Iron Chicken Thighs are a sure fire way to liven things up. With only 5 ingredients and mostly hands-off effort, this easy dinner recipe is a weeknight winner and one that your family is going to be requesting in the regular rotation from now on!

Raw bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs on a wooden cutting board.

Looking for more chicken dinner ideas to change things up? Be sure to try our Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken SkewersSmoky Chicken Tinga Tacos, and Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs!

cooked chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet
Overhead shot of crispy pan fried chicken thighs.

What you'll need for crispy Bone In Chicken Thighs

  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs - We always have a couple packages of these in the freezer. The skin gets all crispy and the bone-in version keeps the meat juicy with this type of preparation. I haven’t tested this recipe with boneless chicken thighs, and while technically you can cook them that way, I wouldn’t recommend.
  • Coarse salt - Not table salt, but coarse Kosher salt instead. Regular table salt would be too salty.
  • Garlic powder - It’s a pantry staple, adds just the right amount of flavor, and won’t burn in the pan like fresh garlic will the way we are cooking these.
  • Black pepper - Use freshly ground black pepper for the best punch of flavor.
  • Olive oil - Just a little to drizzle into the pan so the chicken thighs don’t stick.
Seven cast iron chicken thighs with crispy skin in the skillet they were cooked in.

How to cook Crispy Chicken Thighs

  1. To make them, you first want to heat up your oven because after an initial sear skin-side down in a hot cast iron pan with just a tiny bit of oil, the chicken will get finished off by roasting in the oven until cooked through.
  2. While the oven heats, mix together the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and sprinkle it evenly over both sides of the chicken thighs. Then heat up your cast iron pan nice and hot over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to it. I actually have two cast iron pans and will double the recipe just so I have plenty for leftovers as well!
raw chicken thighs on cutting board next to measure spoon and bowl of seasonings
  1. The chicken goes in skin-side down and then you need to just leave it alone so the hot cast iron pan can do it's magic. I first saw this technique on Stupid Easy Paleo back when I was doing my first Whole 30 and immediately fell in love.
  2. I mean, it takes all of 1 whole minute to season the chicken, and stick it in the pan, then the rest of the cooking process is just flipping the chicken once and sticking the pan in the oven. No babysitting dinner means I have time to make a side, set the table, or read a book to my girls while the food finishes cooking.
  3. In addition to not liking chicken thighs, I also used to not like chicken skin. But that's because I had only ever had it with breaded, fried chicken from a certain fast food place that I'm not a particular fan of. It was greasy and heavy and breaded and I just found it blechy.
  4. But man oh man, the skin on these pan fried chicken thighs is something else entirely. Once they have seared for about 7 minutes or so, a wonderful crust forms and the skin is just full of flavor and crispy goodness. My girls rave about it and it's always the first thing they go for when it's time to eat.
close aerial view of cooked chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet

Bone In Chicken Thighs tips

One word of caution: because you are rendering the fat from the chicken skin, it is going to create quite a bit of splatter. A splatterguard really comes in handy to keep cleanup to a minimum later. Also, you're going to want to make sure to have your vent hood fan on.

What to serve with Pan Fried Chicken Thighs

Serve these pan fried chicken thighs with some stir-fried baby bok choy or green beans and cauliflower rice and you've got an easy Whole 30 compliant dinner!

A white plate with a crispy cast iron skillet chicken thigh and stir-fried baby bok choy on it.

And if you aren't doing Whole 30, go ahead and serve these chicken thighs with mashed potatoes or a rice pilaf!

How to store Stove Top Chicken Thighs

If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Bone In Chicken Thigh FAQs

What makes chicken skin crispy?

The secret to these incredible cast iron skillet chicken thighs is the crispy skin which happens by patting the skin dry with paper towels, then searing the chicken in a hot cast iron skillet without moving it. Cooking at a high temperature helps render out the fat in the skin, making it crispier.

How do you cook chicken in a cast iron skillet without it sticking?

A well-seasoned cast iron skillet actually works great as a nonstick pan. Heat the skillet and add a little oil before placing the chicken thighs in, skin side down, then don’t touch the chicken again for 5 minutes. The heat from the pan will sear the skin and it will release on its own when it is ready without sticking to the pan.

How do you not overcook pan fried chicken?

The best way to not overcook pan friend chicken is to use a digital meat thermometer to monitor the temperature of the chicken for doneness. When it reaches 165°F when tested in the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone, the chicken is done!

Crispy cast iron skillet chicken thighs in a cast iron pan with a white plate holding one piece of chicken and stir-fried baby bok choy.

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Bone in Chicken Thigh Recipe

4.82 from 163 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs are always a hit with the family and are a mostly hands-off dinner that is ready in less than 30 minutes!  Better for you than classic fried chicken but still with delicious crispy skin and moist, tender meat that your family will love and that pairs perfectly almost any side!


  • 2 ½ lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6-8)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil


  • Heat oven to 425 degrees F.  
  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel. In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, and pepper, then sprinkle over the meat on both sides.
  • In a cast-iron skillet, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Place chicken thighs into the pan, skin side down and cover with a splatterguard. Cook without moving for 7-9 minutes so that the fat can render and the skin can get nice and crispy.
  • Once the chicken releases from the pan and has a nicely browned crust on the skin, flip the chicken pieces over using tongs. Transfer the skillet with the chicken to the oven and roast for 18-20 minutes until cooked through and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F when tested with an instant read meat thermometer.  



Because chicken thighs can vary pretty significantly in size, you may need to adjust cooking times in the oven for larger or smaller thighs.  


Calories: 655kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 278mg | Sodium: 800mg | Potassium: 594mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 222IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. OMG this looks amazing! I’m always looking for new recipes to try out and can’t wait for this!

  2. This recipe was so perfect and delicious! I feel like I've mastered cooking chicken thighs and I'm excited to share it with friends and family. Before I popped it in the oven I stuck 2 tablespoons of butter and some garlic cloves in it as it baked. So delicious!!

  3. 5 stars
    This turned out so good! I had boneless skinless chicken thighs in my fridge but I followed the recipe and seared the tops and honestly they tasted GREAT. My husband and I both agreed it was a great recipe! I also chopped onions and put them in the cast iron skillet around the chicken thighs when I baked it and those added some nice flavor. Will definitely make it again! 

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. We love chicken and now this is one of our favorites. Please tell me what I am doing wrong. Crust crispy on the outside and delicious but underneath the crust kinda chewy. I have made twice and can’t wait to have it again.
    Please help me with my crust.
    Thank you ❤️
    Melyndia Wilkinson

  5. 5 stars
    One of our go to meals for sure. So easy and delicious. Please tell me what I am doing wrong. The skin ilooks wonderfully crispy but is a little chewy .
    Will make this once a week.
    Thank you 😊

  6. 5 stars
    I am making this right now. Question... do I cover it in the oven? Will it make a splatter mess in my oven?
    Thank you!

  7. So good! I added a bit paprika to the seasoning and cooked per recipe. I added red potatoes for a starch when the pan when into the oven. Took out chicken when done and let the potatoes roast a bit longer until tender. delish!

    1. This is my go to. Not because I have chicken thighs on hand. I buy chicken thighs to make this for my family. Two teenage girls in this house and they actually eat it..

  8. 5 stars
    WOW these chicken thighs were excellent. So easy and the skin was perfectly crispy. The only adjustment I made was putting the chicken thighs on a baking sheet instead of leaving it in the oiled cast iron skillet. I still baked it for the allotted time and they came out perfect! So tender and juicy.

  9. 5 stars
    This recipe was really good! I added some fresh thyme before I flipped them and they came out perfect. I would recommend cooking thighs up to around 200 degrees. 160 degrees for chicken breasts. Thank you for the recipe.

  10. Looks like a great recipe... very disappointed you didn't offer a page or two for printing the recipe... 34 pages for this recipe is entirely ridiculous!

    1. Oh my! I wouldn't want 34 pages either! If you scroll down to the recipe card there is a print button. It should just print the recipe, on one page. You can always hit "jump to recipe" at the top of the blog post and it will take you straight to the recipe card where you can print just the recipe. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  11. 5 stars
    Delicious!!! Nice crispy skin!
    Yum yum yum
    The only thing is my chicken thighs were small and even though I set the timer for 13 minutes in the oven, it was still cooked too long.
    Loved cooking in the skillet and added paprika

  12. 5 stars
    Easy and Delicious! Used boneless, skinless thighs and plated with peas and riced cauliflower. Now a part of our rotation.

  13. I have an easier and more delicious take on this. You won’t have to worry about splatter. Pre heat the oven to 450 WITH the cast iron pan in the oven. Remove from oven. Add butter, it should sizzle, Add chicken, skin side down and put it into the hot oven for 15-20 min. Remove, flip chicken and into the oven for another 15-20 min until temp reads it is safe. No splatter and the butter adds a sweetness to the super crispy skin.

  14. 5 stars
    Really delicious! Added onions and quartered potatoes to skillet with some butter for baking, and I fried the skin with ghee on the stove top.

  15. This is my go to. Not because I have chicken thighs on hand. I buy chicken thighs to make this for my family. Two teenage girls in this house and they actually eat it...

  16. 5 stars
    This recipe was exactly what I was looking for. Incredibly simple to prepare with ingredients I had on hand, and it gave me time to prepare a side dish. I made it in a 12" Lodge cast iron skillet and it came out perfect. I'm not much of a cook, and I think this recipe gave me a lot for a little. Thank you for this.

  17. This is a wonderful recipe I even throw some butter gold potatoes and chuncks of sweet potoes for the sweet and savory taste!

  18. 5 stars
    With out a doubt, this is the best chicken thigh recipe we have. It is our go to when un expected family or friends stop by. Fast and easy using one pan.

  19. Tried this tonight. BIG fan 👏👏👏👏
    I added onion powder and cayenne.
    It was fantastic. The cooking times were perfect. Thank you!

    1. Boneless chicken thighs take a little less time to cook, but it also depends on the size of thigh. I would decrease the oven time by about 5 minutes, but the true way to know is to measure the internal temperature of the thighs and make sure they are 165 degrees F.

  20. 5 stars
    I make this recipe more times than I can count. It's always good. I sometimes add a little smoked paprika but that's about it.

  21. 2 stars
    7 minutes on a medium high setting is too long, my skins burnt. I threw them into an oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and they were pretty tasty.