Food

This pan-fried chicken recipe from Food52 may change your life

We're changing everything you thought you knew about cooking chicken! This innovative technique will give you crispy and juicy results. Every. Single. Time. The best part? This recipe-free preparation lends itself to a variety of different accompaniments, sauces and serving styles.

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Food52: An online food community that throws out the cookbook

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Food52: An online food community that throws out the cookbook

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Food52 founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs stop by the TODAY kitchen to demonstrate a genius way to cook chicken and show us how to dress it up with different sides and sauces.

Why we love this recipe

The creative director of Food52, Kristen Miglore, describes this genius method as a new twist on how to cook chicken. She says, "you don't sear, and you don't roast and you don't grill. You don't do any of the things we're taught to do to chicken." She discovered this technique from the women behind Canal House, Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton.

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How to make crispy one-pan chicken from Food52

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How to make crispy one-pan chicken from Food52

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This method of cooking chicken thighs defies conventional wisdom since you'd normally sear them at high heat, flip, and finish cooking through in the oven. Here, it's all on the stovetop and the bird gets extra-crispy because of the lower heat, plus there's a bit more time to render out the fat.

Need another reason to love this recipe? You can change up the sauce any way you like. Preserved lemons and lemon juice are traditional, but if you're craving Italian, try cherry tomatoes and garlic. Or you can add some bacon and deglaze the pan with rosé — everyone's favorite summer staple! — and make a gravy or fancy pan sauce.

Here's everything you'll need to make Food52's supremely crispy, one-pan chicken

1. A non-stick pan like the Ballarini Professionale Nonstick Fry Pan, $36-$60 (varies by size)

Courtesy Food52
Ballarini Professionale Nonstick Fry Pan

Ballarini’s pro-grade pans are the perfect workhorse for your kitchen. Their nonstick surface makes easy work of eggs, yet they’re durable enough to take your seared steaks from stovetop to oven up to 500°F. The pans have heft without weighing you down, and the long, hollow handles always ensure a cool reach. The fact that they’re dishwasher-safe is an added bonus.

2. The Frywall, $50 for a set of two

Courtesy Food52
Frywall

If you’ve ever suffered from the ill effects of stirring a piping hot tomato sauce, you’re likely well aware of the renegade red splatters that assault your hands and wrists. A traditional splatter screen, while effective, prevents you from reaching into the cooking vessel. The Frywall’s flexible silicone funnel shape is great for its versatility in both pots and pans, and it even helps prevent the overflow when cooking big, leafy greens! Throw it in your dishwasher for easy clean-up, roll it up and store it away when you’re done.

Supremely Crispy One-Pan Chicken Recipe

Serves 4 (but easily batchable for leftovers through the week)

Time to prep: 1 minute

Time to cook: 30-45 minutes

1. Put a slick of olive oil into a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.

2. Season chicken thighs (as many as will fit loosely in the pan) with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet, skin side down.

3. Cook them like this, without moving them, until the fat has rendered out and the skin is deep golden brown and crisp, 15 to 30 minutes. You can fiddle with the heat, reducing it to medium-low if the skin begins to burn before it gets evenly golden brown. But otherwise, no need to do a thing.

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This crispy pan-fried chicken hack from Food52 is a game-changer

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This crispy pan-fried chicken hack from Food52 is a game-changer

Play Video - 2:12

Sauces

Lemon, 2 ways: Turn the thighs over and stir in some chopped preserved lemon rind into the rendered fat in the skillet. Continue cooking the thighs until the meat closest to the bone is cooked through, about 15 minutes more. Serve the thighs and lemony pan drippings with the lemon wedges.

Pan sauce with bacon, chile flakes, and rosé: Turn the thighs over and stir in some chopped bacon and a sprinkle of chile flakes into the rendered fat in the skillet. Continue cooking the thighs until the meat closest to the bone is cooked through, about 15 minutes more. Take the chicken out of the pan, pour in a little rosé wine, and stir with the bacon, rendered fat and chile flakes until a sauce forms. Serve the thighs with the sauce poured over.

Blistered tomatoes and garlic: Turn the thighs over and stir in a crushed garlic clove or two and halved little tomatoes into the rendered fat. Continue cooking the thighs until the meat closest to the bone is cooked through, about 15 minutes more. Serve the thighs with the blistered tomatoes and sauce.

Whatever sauce you make, this chicken is a great base for various meals. Here are two:

Warm Chicken Salad

Tyler Essary / TODAY

Ingredients:

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Red wine vinegar

Olive oil

3 cups red leaf or Bibb lettuce, cleaned and dried and torn into large bite-sized pieces

1 cup shredded chicken (make the chunks as delicate or as rustic as you like)

4 boiled fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch rounds

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Preparation:

1. Make a vinaigrette: In a mason jar, shake together 1 part red wine vinegar and 3 parts olive oil with a few big pinches of salt and pepper to taste. Taste and add more salt if you like.

2. Arrange the lettuce on a small platter.

3. Put half the vinaigrette in a medium saucepan and set it over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the chicken and potatoes to the pan. Cook, turning everything over gently with a spatula every couple of minutes, until the chicken is warmed through, and both the chicken and potatoes are crisp around the edges.

4. Drizzle a few spoonfuls of the remaining vinaigrette over the lettuce and then arrange the chicken and potatoes over the top. Sprinkle the chives over everything and serve immediately, with the remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Chicken Grain Bowl

Tyler Essary / TODAY

Ingredients:

Shredded chicken

1 cup farro

2 cups jasmine rice pickled peppers (like peppadews), roughly chopped

Smoked almonds, roughly chopped

Chopped celery

Chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Red wine vinegar

Olive oil

Preparation:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farro and let cook for about 20 minutes, then add the jasmine rice. Cook until both grains are tender but not soft, about another 20 minutes, then drain and cool. If one grain is a little overcooked, no big deal!

2. Make a vinaigrette: In a mason jar, shake together 1 part red wine vinegar and 3 parts olive oil with a few big pinches of salt and pepper to taste. Taste and add more salt if you like.

3. In a big mixing bowl, toss together the grains, pickled peppers, almonds, celery, and parsley. Drizzle with vinaigrette. This salad keeps well for a few days in the fridge.

For more inspiration from the Food52 kitchen:

Signed copy of "Genius Recipes," by Kristen Miglore, $35

Courtesy Food52, Ten Speed Press
"Genius Recipes," by Kristen Miglore

The beauty of this cookbook is that it compiles the best of the best in a one-stop shop: from Marcella Hazan's beloved tomato sauce to Alice Waters’s ratatouille, Ottolenghi’s hummus to Rao’s meatballs. Instead of standing in front of your growing cookbook lineup on a busy weeknight, make this NYT bestseller from Food52 Creative Director Kristen Miglore the daily go-to you turn to again and again.

RELATED: 13 delicious and healthy cookbooks we can't cook without

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