Crispy Chicken Thighs with Pasta and Pesto


Find chicken more deliciously crispy, we dare. This stovetop-to-oven method yields crisp, dark-golden skin and juicy, tender meat. Not to mention, the homemade arugula pesto speaks for itself.

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Pasta and Pesto Recipe
Photo: Photo: Greg Dupree
6 servings


Chicken Thighs

  • 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

  • 2 cups firmly packed arugula

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.

  2. Heat oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat until oil just begins to smoke.

  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. Prepare the Pesto: Process arugula, parsley, olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, water, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth. Refrigerate up to 1 week.

  5. 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.

  6. Bake at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes. Dollop with additional Arugula Pesto.

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