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Crispy pan roasted chicken thighs, sweet, tart, grapefruit, and the salty, fatty goodness of pancetta make these skillet chicken thighs the BEST EVER. Plus they are easy to make in one skillet, and cook in about 40 minutes for a perfect easy weeknight meal!
OMG guys this is the best chicken recipe. I know I say that a lot, but for real, you have to have this chicken. The crispy skin and fatty pancetta go just perfectly with the grapefruit pieces and heavy cream.
The boyfriend stated that this was the best chicken I’ve ever made. I take that with a grain of salt though. He says that about so many of my recipes.
But seriously, this chicken is damn good. You NEED these skillet chicken thighs!
Why This Recipe Works
The combination of acid from the grapefruit and wine, paired with the salt and fat from the pancetta and cream makes a perfect dish.
Browning the chicken thighs first allows the skin to become nice and crispy.
Honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the chicken.
I love grapefruit season. The boyfriends parent always have a ton of fresh grapefruit and I get so excited about it. Really there is nothing like fresh off the tree grapefruit. However, if you’re not as lucky as me, you can buy grapefruit from the store to use in this recipe.
The best grapefruit for this dish is going to be a sweeter variety like the Oro Blanco. The red grapefruit tend to be the most bitter, and a pink grapefruit is a good in-between alternative. Learn more about the Oro Blanco Grapefruit.
Pancetta is a must for these skillet chicken thighs. It adds a rich and salty component which offsets the sweetness and slight bitterness of the grapefruit.
All the ingredients are easy to find at your local store. If you prefer to not use white wine, you can substitute chicken broth.
How to Make Skillet Chicken Thighs with Grapefruit
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the fat in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Brown the chicken thighs; 4 minutes on each side.
Add the pancetta and cook 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add the white wine, grapefruit and cream. Place skillet directly in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and drizzle the honey evenly over each thigh. Place back in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. The internal temperature of the thighs should read 165 degrees.
Remove, garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve. If you don’t have pomegranate seeds, don’t fret, you can leave them off. However, the tart pop of juice really adds another dimension to the grapefruit chicken.
The best grapefruit for this dish is going to be a sweeter variety like the Oro Blanco. Substitute any sweet grapefruit if you can’t find the Oro Blanco.
Chicken broth can be substituted for the white wine if desired.
Brown the chicken before placing it in the oven to crisp the skin and contain the juices. A cast iron skillet is best for browning.
The pomegranate seeds are optional, but add a delicious pop of tart flavor.
What is the Sweetest Kind of Grapefruit?
The Oro Blanco is the most sweet and least tart grapefruit. The pink is next, with a nice sweet flavor. The pink grapefruit can be easier to find than the Oro Blanco. Red and yellow grapefruits tend to be more tart and bitter. For this recipe, I recommend the Oro Blanco or pink grapefruits.
Can You Freeze Skillet Chicken Thighs?
To freeze this chicken after cooking, place in an airtight container and store in the freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a 400 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, or until heated through.
Tools Used to Make Grapefruit Skillet Chicken Thighs
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Pan Roasted Grapefruit Chicken Thighs
- Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the pancetta. Cook until brown and caramelized, about 3-4 minutes, and remove.
- Turn heat down to low and add the chicken thighs, skin side down. Cook on low for 10 minutes to allow the chicken fat to render.
- While the chicken is cooking, use a knife to supreme the grapefruit (cut out the grapefruit sections from the skin and pith). Watch this video on how to supreme a grapefruit.
- Flip the thighs over so the skin side is up and add the pancetta, white wine, grapefruit and cream. Remove from heat.
- Place skillet directly in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and drizzle the honey evenly over each thigh. Place back in the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of 160F degrees.
- Remove, garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve.
- The best grapefruit for this dish is going to be a sweeter variety like the Oro Blanco. The red grapefruit tend to be the most bitter, and a pink grapefruit is a good in-between alternative.
- Chicken broth can be substituted for the white wine if desired.
- It is important to brown the chicken before placing it in the oven. The browned chicken has a deeper flavor, and it's what gives us that beautiful, delicious crisp skin.
- The pomegranate seeds are optional, but add a delicious pop of tart flavor.