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Crispy Chicken Thighs with Schmaltzy Radishes

Chicken fat bliss.

Crispy chicken thigh on roasted radishes and snap peas on a white plate.

The two best things about roast chicken are the crispy skin and the schmaltz-smothered vegetables, and this recipe delivers on both. Crispy, pan-roasted chicken thighs nestle on a bed of soft, creamy radishes and crunchy snap peas for a fresh spring twist on a classic comfort meal.

Schmaltzy roasted radishes in a cast iron pan.

If you’ve never roasted a radish, you’re seriously missing out. Eaten raw, radishes are crunchy in texture with an assertive bite, but once roasted, they melt into tender creamy nuggets that eat almost like a lighter version of a potato. It’s true that they can be a bit bland if not seasoned properly, but here, browned and then roasted in all that luxurious chicken schmaltz, they are truly to die for.

Let’s talk about crispy chicken skin: it’s simpler than you might think. Start the chicken thighs skin-side-down in a lightly-oiled pan on medium heat, and LEAVE THEM ALONE. Avoid disturbing them—lifting, turning them over, breaking their contact with the pan in any way—until they’ve been cooking for at least six minutes, and don’t flip them until that skin is deeply golden brown. After cooking a few minutes on the second side, transfer them to a 350 degree oven. The gentler radial heat of the oven allows the chicken to cook through without drying out or burning on the bottom, while the skin continues to crisp on top.

Crispy chicken thigh on roasted radishes and snap peas in a cast iron pan..

Gorgeous golden-brown roast chicken thighs on a bed of creamy, schmatzy radishes and fresh, crunchy snap peas. Fresh and light, yet rich and super satisfying, this dinner represents spring comfort food at its most glorious.



Crispy Chicken Thighs with Schmaltzy Radishes

(Serves 4)

Crispy chicken thigh on roasted radishes and snap peas on a white plate with a fork.

1 tbsp. neutral oil

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 lbs)

2 ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided

¾ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for serving

1 lb. red radishes, scrubbed, trimmed, and quartered lengthwise

4 oz. (about 1 ½ c.) fresh snap peas

Lemon wedges, for serving

Special equipment: cast iron pan


Preheat oven to 375 degrees, rack in the middle position.

Add oil to a large oven-proof pan (preferably cast-iron) and set over medium heat. Season chicken thighs all over with 2 teaspoons salt and ¾ teaspoon black pepper. Arrange in pan, skin-side-down, and cook until skin is deep golden brown, 7-8 minutes. Turn over and cook just until browned, 1-2 minutes more. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add radishes to pan, season with 1 teaspoon salt, and toss in chicken fat. Arrange in a single layer (as much as possible) and cook, undisturbed, until golden-brown on one side, 4-5 minutes. Toss so golden-brown sides are facing up and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Arrange chicken skin-side-up on top of the radishes and transfer pan to oven. Cook until radishes are tender and golden-brown and chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees, 10-15 minutes more.

Remove pan from oven and transfer chicken to a clean plate. Add snap peas to radishes in pan and toss lightly to coat in chicken juices. Return chicken thighs to the pan and serve with lemon wedges and more freshly cracked black pepper.

Crispy chicken thighs on roasted radishes and snap peas on a white serving plate with lemon wedges.

Originally posted June 12, 2023.


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