This easy-peasy meal of skillet chicken thighs with schmaltzy, vinegary radishes, and their greens comes together in one pan and is on the table in an hour. Sounds like a weeknight winner to us.
Adapted from Emma Laperruque | Food52 Big Little Recipes | Ten Speed Press, 2021
Add chicken thighs to a warmish skillet, let them take their time, and your patience will be rewarded with meat that’s never dry, skin that’s crunchier than a potato chip, and—if you ask me, this is the best part—lots of golden schmaltz. You could pour this into a jar and tuck it in the fridge for later. Or add vegetables right to the skillet for an all-in-one meal.
Take radishes: Though these are often raw in salads, they love to be roasted or sautéed, becoming buttery tender and earthy sweet. Like beets and carrots, radishes are one ingredient that’s actually two ingredients, thanks to those leafy greens you may or may not have been throwing out.
To balance all the richness, an immodest amount of vinegar comes in at the end. You want something with plenty of brightness and contrast (like white wine vinegar), just not so much personality that it distracts from the rest of the dish (like balsamic). This dish can be seamlessly scaled up to serve four; just double the quantities and use two skillets instead.–Emma Laperruque
Skillet Chicken Thighs with Radishes FAQs
What is schmaltz?
Schmaltz is very common in Jewish and Eastern European cuisines. It’s made by rendering chicken fat, although goose is also used in some areas. It’s simple to make, budget-friendly and it imparts a richness to dishes without the use of butter or dairy.
Does roasting radishes change their flavor?
Yes, but in a very good way. We love raw radishes, but cooking them brings out a natural sweetness that is normally hidden by their infamous peppery punch.
Skillet Chicken Thighs with Schmaltzy, Vinegary Radishes
- 4 medium (about 1 1/4 pounds) bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bunches (about 1 pound) radishes leaves still attached
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (white wine, rice, or apple cider)
- Set a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.
- Add the thighs, skin-side down, to the skillet. Cook, adjusting the heat as needed so the skin doesn’t brown too fast, until it’s deeply golden brown and crispy, 15 to 25 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, use a knife to lop the greens off the radishes. Wash and dry the greens and set aside. Wash and dry the radishes, then halve them lengthwise (or quarter if they’re large).
- Flip the chicken and set a timer for 5 minutes. When that goes off, push the chicken to the perimeter and add the radishes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss radishes in the fat. Cook until the radishes are tender and starting to brown, and the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C), about 15 minutes more. (It’s ok if the internal temperature is a little higher; thighs are resilient.)
- Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the radish greens to the skillet and toss until they start to wilt, 1 minute or less. Turn off the heat, then stir in the vinegar. Nestle the chicken on top and serve.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This recipe for skillet chicken thighs with schmaltzy, vinegary radishes was such a surprise for a weekday dinner! We do not often cook radishes and have never cooked radish greens, and this was a lovely way to begin.
I used one bunch of radishes that weighed one pound to match the weight listing of this recipe and it was perfect for the two of us. After cooking in the schmaltz, everything was very flavorful, but not at all greasy or heavy. The radish tops are fairly bitter, but this bitterness was really nice with the sweetness of the radishes. This was just right for the two of us, and we served it with a simple pasta side dish.
Originally published April 14, 2022
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
I really liked these skillet chicken thighs with schmaltzy, vinegary radishes. The recipe was written perfectly, it’s very straightforward and yields exceptionally delicious results. I love raw and cooked radishes but have never thought to cook the greens before. I’ve come to the conclusion that radishes are an inexpensive, nutritious, and far too often overlooked vegetable. This dish has turned me into a whole-hearted radish lover.
I think next time I’ll try cooking the chicken all the way through at first then adding 1-inch pieces of potato and radishes to the pan, followed by the greens. I feel like potatoes would be a nice addition to this. I will definitely be making this again!