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Picnic-Perfect Roasted Chicken

With just-as-crispy skin, swap this simple roasted recipe for your go-to fried favorite.


 

We all get it: It’s summertime and it’s hot and no one, anywhere, wants to go near the stove. Recipes for chilled salads, packed with crisp lettuce, bright fresh fruits and lightly dressed tomatoes, are popping up everywhere with tag lines screaming, “Stay out of the kitchen!” As much as you might dread turning the burners on when temperatures hit their August highs, nothing says summer like a piece of fried chicken. This roasted recipe is so simple, and crispy, you’ll barely notice you’ve turned the oven on at all, and you needn’t worry about standing over a pot of bubbling oil. Perfect for a weekend picnic or a Sunday supper, it makes wonderful leftover chicken salad or a great rustic club sandwich. My favorite part: The simple addition of cumin to the seasoning — a trick an old cooking buddy used when making our restaurant’s staff meals — adds just a hint of exotic flavor to the mix.

 

Picnic-Perfect Roast Chicken Thighs, Adapted from Bon Appetit, June 11’
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a 12-inch cast-iron or heavy duty, non-stick skillet over high heat, and cook until the oil is hot but not smoking. Season both sides of the chicken generously with salt, pepper and cumin and place, skin-side down, in the skillet. Cook for two minutes, then reduce heat to medium-high. Continue cooking, rotating pan and rearranging chicken (leaving skin-side down) to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes longer.

2. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook an additional 13 minutes. Flip the chicken, and continue cooking until the skin is crispy and meat is cooked through, about 5 more minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate or cooling rack and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

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