Cast Iron Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

chicken thighs potatoes garlic onions and lemon in a cast iron skillet

Share on Social!

This Cast Iron Chicken Thighs recipe ain’t your boring old chicken dish. Baby potatoes, roasted garlic, fresh herbs, and lemon combine in your skillet to kick these chicken thighs up a notch. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

We eat chicken A LOT in our house… So much so that when our daughters ask “What’s for dinner?” and we tell them “Chicken”, we get the immediate “UGH!”/eye roll/foot stomp.

But this cast iron skillet chicken and potatoes recipe is anything but “ugh”!

Garlic and onions roast in rendered chicken fat until they’re perfectly sweet, and lemon quarters are thrown in the skillet to add just the right amount of acid to the dish. The skin of the chicken thighs gets nice and crispy, and all of the flavors meld together in harmony to create the PERFECT, easy cast iron skillet dinner.

Your kids won’t ever complain about chicken again, guaranteed!

Here’s how to make the BEST chicken thighs in your cast iron skillet:

Ingredients for Cast Iron Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

chicken thighs, butter, potatoes, lemon, and garlic on a cutting board
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 2 wedges
  • 24 oz. bag of baby potatoes – We used a mixed bag of purple and yellow fingerling potatoes.
  • 2 heads garlic
  • 6 chicken thighs, with bones and skin on
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • greek seasoning – I swear by Cavendar’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning!
  • salt and pepper

How to Make the BEST Cast Iron Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Onions

*A quick note on this recipe… It seems long, and there are a lot of steps (transferring ingredients in and out of your skillet, etc), but it’s still a very easy to make and SUPER flavorful chicken dish! To see me cook this cast iron chicken thighs recipe, or if you have any questions about any of the steps, be sure to head to my YouTube channel and search for my Cast Iron Skillet Chicken and Potatoes video!

Step 1: Preheat your oven and cast iron skillet.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and preheat your cast iron skillet or other oven-safe pan on your stovetop on medium heat.

Step 2: Prep your ingredients.

Trim the excess skin from the bottom side of your chicken thighs and add the skin to the heated cast iron skillet. Cook the skin until the fat is rendered out and the skin is crispy. The goal here is to get all of that flavorful chicken fat in your skillet to cook your potatoes, onions, and garlic and add MAJOR flavor! Once the skin is crispy, remove it from the skillet and discard. Or, you can eat it… kind of like a crispy pork rind.

chicken skin cooking in a cast iron skillet

See all of that liquid in the photo above? That’s pure chicken fat… I didn’t add any oil or butter to the pan.

While the fat is rendering out of the excess skin, prep the remaining ingredients…

Remove the outer skin of a medium onion and quarter it. Wash your potatoes and cut them in half. Cut both heads of garlic about a 1/4 of the way down from the top, leaving the rest of the head in tact. And cut 1/2 of a lemon into two wedges.

Step 3: Brown chicken thighs in your cast iron skillet.

Season your chicken thighs evenly with greek seasoning, salt, and pepper, and place them in the preheated skillet skin side down like this:

chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet

*The photo above is also a good view of how I removed the excess skin that hangs down on the bottom side of chicken thighs in the previous step.

Brown chicken thighs until the top skin side is a nice medium brown color. Then remove them from the skillet and set aside. The chicken will only be browned at this point, not fully cooked, so be sure that you don’t re-use the plate that you set your chicken on.

Step 4: Brown garlic and onions.

After you’ve browned the chicken and removed it from the skillet, it’s time to cook your garlic and onions in all of that delicious chicken fat! Add the 2 heads of garlic and quarters of onion cut sides down to the skillet like this:

cut onions and garlic cooking in a cast iron skillet

*NOTE – You’ll notice that I also threw in some of the loose cloves of garlic, with the “papers” still on them. Leaving that outer skin on the garlic cloves helps to keep the garlic from burning. Don’t worry… the garlic “paper” will slide right off after your completed dish comes out of the oven. It’s kind of like my own “kitchen hack” to save time when using fresh garlic. Be sure to check out the YouTube video at the end of this post to see this pro tip in action!

Allow the onions and garlic to brown in the rendered chicken fat for about 3-5 minutes. Then, remove the garlic from the skillet and set aside to prevent it from burning. Garlic burns pretty easily, and that’s no bueno! Turn the onions so that the other cut side is touching the skillet, and continue to cook the onions for an additional 3-5 minutes. Then, remove the onions from the skillet and transfer them to the plate with your garlic.

Step 5: Start to cook the potatoes in your skillet.

Okay… so now you’ve browned your chicken, garlic, and onions in that rendered chicken fat, adding layers of flavor with each ingredient. After you’ve transferred your garlic and onions to a plate, it’s time to add the potatoes to the skillet. Cook the potatoes for about 5 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.

Then add 1/2 a stick of butter to the skillet with the potatoes, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.

Step 6: Add onions, garlic, lemon, and chicken thighs to the potatoes in your cast iron skillet.

First add the garlic heads and onions to the potatoes like this:

potatoes onions and garlic cooking in a cast iron skillet

Then add lemon wedges, thyme, rosemary, and your browned chicken thighs. No need to squeeze the lemon wedges yet… you will do that when the dish comes out of the oven. Place the chicken thighs on top of the other ingredients in the skillet so that they brown nicely in the oven. This is what your cast iron chicken and potatoes should look like at this point:

chicken thighs potatoes onion garlic and lemon in a cast iron skillet

Step 7: Bake cast iron chicken and potatoes.

Transfer the cast iron skillet to the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees, or until the chicken reaches 160-165 degrees.

Step 8: Switch your oven to broil mode.

Once your chicken has reached 160-165 degrees, switch your oven to broil mode, and broil the dish for about 3-5 minutes, making the chicken skin crispy.

cooked chicken thighs on a plate

Then carefully remove the skillet from the oven, and transfer chicken thighs to a clean plate to allow them to rest before serving. Put the skillet back under the broiler for another 3 to 5 minutes to lightly brown the vegetables and tighten up the sauce.

Step 9: Remove your cast iron skillet from the oven and cool before serving.

Remove the skillet from the oven, and allow to cool before serving. Remember those potatoes and onions are extremely hot!

Lastly squeeze the heads of garlic to release the roasted heads out and smash them in the skillet pan sauce. Squeeze the lemon and toss or mix the potatoes in the roasted garlic and lemon sauce. Place the chicken thighs back into the skillet and serve!

chicken thighs potatoes and onions in a cast iron skillet

I’m telling you… this cast iron skillet chicken recipe is SO good, that your kids will never complain about eating chicken again!

Thanks for visiting! And be sure to check out some of my other cast iron skillet recipes:

chicken thighs potatoes garlic onions and lemon in a cast iron skillet

Cast Iron Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This cast iron chicken thighs recipe isn't your typical boring old chicken dish! Roasted garlic, sweet onions, fresh lemon, and baby potatoes cook in rendered chicken fat in your cast iron skillet, giving this easy chicken thighs recipe LOADS of flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 lemon cut in 1/4 wedges. 
  • 1 package 24oz baby potatoes
  • 2 whole heads of garlic, cut 1/4 down from top
  • 6 chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 1 stick rosemary
  • 2 to 3 sticks of thyme
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Greek All Purpose seasoning to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Preheat cast iron skillet or other oven-safe pan on medium heat.
  3. Trim excess skin from bottom side of chicken thighs and add to the cast iron skillet. Cook the skin until the fat is rendered out and the skin is crispy. (The goal is to cook the onions, garlic, and potatoes in this rendered chicken fat.) . Once the skin is crispy, remove it from the skillet and discard.
  4. While the fat is rendering out of the excess skin, prep all remaining ingredients: Remove outer skin of a medium onion and quarter it. Wash and cut potatoes in half. Cut both heads of garlic about a 1/4 down from the top, leaving the rest of the head in tact. Cut 1/2 of a lemon into two wedges.
  5. Season chicken thighs evenly with greek seasoning, salt, and pepper, and place them in the preheated skillet skin side down.
  6. Brown chicken thighs until the top skin side is a nice medium brown color. Then remove from the skillet and set aside. The chicken will only be browned at this point, not fully cooked.
  7. Add the 2 heads of garlic and quarters of onion cut sides down to the skillet.
  8. Allow the onions and garlic to brown in the rendered chicken fat for about 3-5 minutes. Then, remove the garlic from the skillet and set aside to prevent it from burning. Flip the onions and continue to cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  9. Remove onions from the skillet and set aside.
  10. Add the potatoes to the skillet, and cook for about 5 minutes. Season potatoes with salt and pepper.
  11. Add 1/2 stick of butter to the skillet with the potatoes and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  12. Add the garlic heads, onion, lemon wedges, thyme, rosemary, and browned chicken thighs back to the skillet. Place the chicken thighs on top of the other ingredients in the skillet so that they brown nicely in the oven.
  13. Transfer the cast iron skillet to the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees, or until the chicken reaches 160-165 degrees.
  14. Turn your oven to broil mode, and broil for about 3-5 minutes, making the chicken skin crispy.
  15. Carefully remove the skillet from then oven, and transfer chicken thighs to a clean plate to allow them to rest before serving.
  16. Put the skillet back under the broiler for another 3 to 5 minutes to lightly brown the vegetables and tighten up the sauce.
  17. Remove the skillet from the oven, and allow to cool before serving. Remember those potatoes and onions are extremely hot.
  18. Lastly squeeze the heads of garlic to release the roasted heads out and smash them in the skillet pan sauce. Squeeze the lemon and toss or mix the potatoes in the roasted garlic and lemon sauce.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 717Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 280mgSodium: 620mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 52g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Different online calculators may calculate nutritional information differently. Also, the addition of optional ingredients and varying brands and products may change the information. For the most accurate data, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients that you us

Want to Watch Me Cook?

Click here to visit The Flat Top King on YouTube! Watch me cook some of my favorite charcoal grill, flat top grill, and cast iron recipes, and get helpful tips for how to use and care for your cooking equipment!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to Recipe