This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
Crispy pan roasted grapefruit chicken thighs with sweet, tart grapefruit and the salty, fatty goodness of pancetta make this recipe one of the BEST EVER chicken recipes! Plus they are easy to make in one skillet, and cook in under an hour 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 wine and grapefruit add the perfect amount of acid to offset the heaviness of the cream and pancetta. Plus...crispy chicken skin. Need I say more?
And these thighs go just perfect with these amazingly buttery and delicious sous vide potatoes.
And if you're a big fan of crispy skin chicken (is anyone not???) you'll also love this Vietnamese chicken, Instant Pot lemon chicken and honey garlic chicken.
Check out the grapefruit chicken story!
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.
The full list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
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. It's also incredible in this tortellini pasta salad.
If you prefer to not use white wine, you can substitute chicken broth.
Step By Step Instructions
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 (I use my nifty Thermapen for this - love it!).
Remove, garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve.
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.
To freeze this chicken after cooking, place in an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a 400F degree oven for 5-10 minutes, or until heated through.
- Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
- Thermapen MK4 thermometer
Rate the recipe and leave a comment to let me know how it turned out!
Pan Roasted Grapefruit Chicken Thighs
- 4 chicken thighs bone in, skin on
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 5 ounces diced pancetta
- 1 grapefruit peeled and sectioned
- ⅛ cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ⅛ cup pomegranate seeds for garnish
- 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.
I bet the grapefruit pairs so nicely with the chicken! This looks scrumptious!
It totally does - it's a great combo. Thanks beth!
Oh my goodness! This chicken looks divine. I would love to try this flavor combo! Perfect for a romantic dinner!
It totally would be! Thanks Catalina 🙂
This sounds like my kind of comfort food!!! I love the addition of the grapefruit for the citrus burst, makes me remember that Spring is on it's way (ha!!). I know our family would love this dish.
Citrus is so great for chicken! Can't wait for spring!!
Cheese Curd In Paradise
I can't wait to try this recipe! This looks so yummy and the I bet the flavors work so well together. It is perfect because I have a pack of chicken and grapefruit in my fridge right now!
Perfect! I hope you give it a try Ashley!
Oooh this recipe is making my mouth water. I've never tried grapefruit with chicken -- very interesting. My SIL lives in Arizona and she has fruit trees in her back yard. She sent us a huge box of grapefruits and I can attest that the right off the trees are the best. They lasted forever and we enjoyed every last one of them. I wish I would have some of them now for this recipe.
Grapefruit straight off the tree is just one of the best things ever. It's awesome that you can get them fresh!
Wow-this is amazing! At first, I was a little worried about the chicken being to acidic, but the use of honey is genius and totally offsets the strong acidic flavour of the grapefruit. Grapefruit is one of my favourite citrus flavours. This is now a part of my personal recipe collection! Thank you.
Thanks so much Byron! I love using honey to offset citrusy flavor - plus honey is just AMAZING. Glad you liked it and thanks for stopping by!
This was and is a definite keeper. I usually do not like chicken thigh because it is alittle dry for my taste but this was fork cutable and just as moist and tasty as could be. Thanks for another OUTSTANDING dinner.
I'm so glad you liked it Mahy!! There's nothing quite like chicken you can cut with a fork!
i think you have really captured the right blend of flavors in this dish. I love the chicken with a little acidic juice .
The acid from the grapefruit really does add a great flavor. Thanks Claudia!
What a unique way to enjoy grapefruit! I've only ever eaten it plain, can't wait to try this!
It's so good with the chicken and pancetta! Thanks Sara 🙂
Adriana Lopez Martin
Entirely in love with the grapefruit addition, citrus notes are perfect with chicken. Besides I am from Florida and grapefruits are now in season!
Thanks Adriana! Grapefruit season is just the best!
Great idea with the grapefruit!!! So much tang!
What a savory and tangy dish! The grapefruit really adds a fresh taste!
I've tried chicken with lemon, many times, but grapefruit is a new combo! I love citrus when it's fresh in the winter. can't wait to try it.
Citrus season is the best! Hope you love it Jenna!
I have never come across a recipe of chicken with grapefruit. That is definitely an interesting combination that I would like to try. Thanks for sharing this new idea.
You're welcome Roxana! I hope you give it a try 🙂
I happen to love cooking the thighs. So juicy and delicious. I will say I have never paired them with grapefruit. Sounds like an interesting combination,
Thanks Gloria! Thighs are the best 🙂
What a fantastic flavor combination! Looks like such an elegant dish and would be perfect for a date night in.
Thanks so much Demeter!
Would never have thought about adding grapefruit! Perfect!
The grapefruit is such a fun flavor addition!
Such a flavorful recipe! This makes the perfect winter dinner!
Thanks Kim 🙂
This grapefruit chicken skillet recipe looks full of wonderful flavors and perfectly cooked. I can't wait to try this!
Thanks so much Kelly!