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.

A white enameled skillet filled with chicken thighs, halved radishes, and radish greens

Skillet Chicken Thighs with Schmaltzy, Vinegary Radishes

4.80 / 5 votes
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.
David Leite
CourseMains
CuisineAmerican
Servings2 servings
Calories714 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour

Ingredients 

  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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.
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Nutrition

Serving: 1 portionCalories: 714 kcalCarbohydrates: 3 gProtein: 53 gFat: 53 gSaturated Fat: 14 gMonounsaturated Fat: 22 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 315 mgSodium: 268 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Emma Laperruque. Photo © 2021 James Ransom. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

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!

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.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was so so good! It is an immediate addition to our arsenal of weeknight recipes. It’s hard to believe it has so few ingredients given how complex and flavorful it turned out. I did put a bit of ghee in the pan before the chicken because I was afraid there was not enough fat (I also salted the thighs the day before). I also added a couple handfuls of baby spinach to beef up the greens and used sherry vinegar as that was what I had on hand. We served it with mashed potatoes and it was a perfect meal.

  2. 5 stars
    This was dinner last night and it was delicious! The crispy brown chicken skin was like bacon! I had heard of roasting radishes before, but had never tried it. These pan roasted radishes were excellent! BONUS: for someone who has to watch carbs, radishes are very low carb, and roasted this way, they are reminiscent of potatoes. I ate more than my share. I wished for more greens–they do wilt away to almost nothing. Next time I might add some kale and maybe a little more vinegar. Outstanding! Will repeat.