The thing is, I’m kind of obsessed with rosemary.
Nearly every time I pass by a bunch at the market, I always stop to smell them. If I come across a rosemary bush during my walks with Bella, I always brush my hand across the top so that the oils will release and the scent will stay with me.
I’ve got issues, I know.
At the farmers market last Saturday, I grabbed a huge bunch and decided that my meals for the week would all feature rosemary. I marinated prawns in them to top some pizzas, roasted some pistachios with chopped rosemary and garlic, brined some pork chops with rosemary and lemon, bottled some rosemary infused olive oil, and made a huge batch of pan-roasted rosemary chicken thighs in my cast iron skillet.
This recipe is a nod to all of those delicious spots that make European-style rotisserie chicken. A whole chicken is marinated in fresh herbs (yep-rosemary!) and garlic, which are then slowly spun and roasted. Extra bonus? The establishments that place a tray of new potatoes underneath the spinning chicken so that all of those spectacularly flavored juices fall down and infuse the potatoes.
Since I don’t happen to own a rotisserie (ahem…birthday is in May folks!), I decided to turn to my trusty cast irons to sear and render down some chicken before roasting them in the oven. But before any of that happened, I marinated the chicken (I prefer chicken thighs) in an obscene amount of fresh rosemary, garlic, lemon zest and a few other spices overnight. If you don’t have that kind of time, you could do it for about 6 hours but overnight is best. After the chicken has roasted, the skillet is quickly deglazed with wine and stock for a light sauce.
The end results? Perfectly moist and aromatic chicken.
If you prefer white meat, you could substitute with chicken breast. But do yourself a favor and make sure you use bone-in. You’ll get SO much more flavor and the meat tends to be more moist.
Now excuse me as I go enroll myself in a Rosemary Addiction Group.
Pan-Roasted Rosemary Chicken Thighs
½ cup chopped rosemary
¼ cup minced garlic
zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 pounds chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup low sodium chicken stock
½ cup white wine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
In a bowl, mix together the rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, red chili flakes, salt, pepper and olive oil. Place the chicken in a large shallow dish or gallon sized resealable bags. Pour the herb mixture over the chicken and turn to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or preferably overnight.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet or other oven proof skillet over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, take each chicken thigh and wipe off any excess marinade. Carefully lay each piece into the skillet, skin side down. Allow the skin to crisp and become golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Once browned, turn each chicken thigh over. Since a good amount of the fat would have rendered out of the chicken, carefully spoon out and discard. Transfer the skillet to the oven.
Roast the chicken for an additional 10-15 minutes depending on the size. If pierced with the tip of a knife, the juices should run clear or use a thermometer and roast until internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees F.
Pull the skillet from the oven and transfer the chicken to a plate. Cover with foil. Return the skillet to the stove and over medium-high heat, pour in the chicken stock and white wine. Use a wooden spoon and scrape the bottom of the skillet to release all the brown bits. Allow the liquids to come to a boil and reduce for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the butter (optional). Adjust with additional kosher salt or pepper as needed.
Place the chicken back into the skillet and serve. Alternatively, you can spoon the pan sauce over chicken thighs and serve.