What's For Dinner: Pan-Roasted BBQ Chicken Thighs

We eat a lot of chicken around this parts. As in several nights a week. I love chicken in that it's a nutritious source of lean protein and it lends itself quite well to a wide variety of recipes.

For a simple dinner, I'll season boneless, skinless chicken thighs with salt and pepper, place them in a lightly oiled glass baking dish and bake them in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes. Easy-peasy.

This recipe for pan-roasted BBQ chicken thighs takes my simple recipe a couple steps further, but still cooks up in less than 30 minutes. To add a little crispness to the skinless chicken, the thighs are first roasted on the stovetop before being basted with barbecue sauce and finished in the oven.

On a weeknight when time is of the essence, a simple recipe like this one is a total godsend. I usually start a batch of rice in the rice cooker right before putting the chicken on the stove, so that it's ready to go once the chicken is out of the oven. Place a serving of chicken on a bed of rice, garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro, and dinner is ready to be served.

Pan-Roasted BBQ Chicken Thighs (printer-friendly version)
makes 4-6 servings

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (just over 1 pound)
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
fresh cilantro, chopped [optional]

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Add the grapeseed oil to a cast iron skillet and heat over high heat. Use a paper towel to remove any excess moisture from the chicken thighs and trim any excess fat. Season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place them in a single layer in the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
2. Coat both sides of the chicken with barbecue sauce (about 1 tablespoon per side per piece) and place in the oven. Bake for 3 minutes, then remove from the oven and coat each side again with barbecue sauce. Bake for an additional 3 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the barbecue sauce begins to blacken around the edges. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro.