I just discovered this amazing and easy way to cook chicken y’all. It is so good and makes chicken so crunchy, you won’t miss heavy, greasy fried chicken at all! And, believe it or not, because you use a good fat called ghee, it’s actually good for you! I know, how can fried chicken ever be good for you right? But it can!
It satisfies every desire for crunchy and crispy you’ve got. I don’t know if you’re like me but I’m a crunchy cookie kind of girl, I love my toast a bit overdone, I always order my french fries ‘extra-crispy’ (although I’m not eating those right now!) and my pizza crisp on the bottom (not eating that either right now) 🙂
So when I found this recipe I simply had to try it. Crispy, crunchy, cracklin’ chicken with no grain and cooked in a healthy fat? Not greasy? And ready in 10 minutes? Sold!!! I discovered the recipe over at Nom Nom Paleo, a great site filled with wonderful healthy recipes. And, she has a new cookbook called Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans.
I confess, I’m a huge fried chicken fan but I rarely if ever make it or eat it. Too much gluten and way too much fat cooked at high temperatures which unfortunately turns most oils toxic. Now, I have a completely grain and gluten free version that’s paleo and simple to prepare. Another plus? Kids adore this! I mean seriously, who doesn’t love crispy crunchy chicken??
You’re going to use chicken thighs, organic preferably, with the skin on and the bone in. The skin is what gets cracklin’ and crunchy!
Thighs are cheapest this way and all you have to do is remove the bone. It’s a super easy chicken bone to remove and you simply use a pair of kitchen shears and cut that bone right out. Make sure you save all your bones for homemade chicken stock. I put them all in a baggy and freeze them till I’m ready to make soup. Next pound the thighs fairly flat, season with salt and spices and cook them in hot ghee. What’s Ghee?
Clarified butter! Have you ever eaten a lobster and dipped the juicy chunks in hot butter? That’s exactly what ghee is. It’s simply butter with the milk solids removed. Ghee is considered dairy free with a high smoke point so it’s incredibly perfect for frying. All the casein is removed making it tolerable for people who can’t handle the dairy in butter. The fatty acids are stable at a high temperature making it completely safe to use. It’s also a beneficial fat for acid reflux, ulcers and other digestive issues. I use it all the time. I like this particular Organic Ghee but I’ve learned to make my own. Easy and cheaper that way. Ghee is available at most health food stores. Try it, I guarantee you will love using ghee!
So, now you’ve removed the bones, pounded the thighs a bit, and it’s time to season them. Dry them first with paper towels and lay them skin side up on a cookie sheet. You’re going to sprinkle the skin side only with salt. Don’t use seasonings on the skin or they’ll burn. Just salt. I adore RealSalt and use it every day. It’s a super healthy blend of salts without additives, chemicals or heat processing of any kind and it has 60 different naturally occurring trace minerals!
Sprinkle on your salt, then flip the thighs over and season the meat side with whatever you like. Salt and pepper of course and you can try garlic powder, thyme or basil or really anything you have on hand. Just salt and pepper is fine too!
Now, heat your ghee in a big pan, cast iron if you have it, and when it’s nice and hot, lay your thighs in, skin side down. Cook over medium-high heat for 7 to 10 minutes, rotating your pan 90 degrees halfway through, then flip the thighs over and cook another 3 or 4 minutes. Remove thighs and set on a wire rack for 5 minutes. That’s it! Prepare to eat the juiciest, crispiest, most kid-frienldy chicken in the universe!
See how cracklin’ and crunchy that skin is?? Amazing!
Super juicy Cracklin’ and Crunchy Chicken!
Cracklin’ & Crunchy Chicken
- 8 organic chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on (approximately 4 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon of good salt like sea salt, kosher salt, Himalayan pink salt or Real Salt
- 1 tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons spices or herbs of your choice
- Remove bones from the thighs with a pair of sharp kitchen shears. Save the bones to freeze for homemade chicken stock.
- Dry the chicken with paper towels.
- Pound thighs between 2 pieces of waxed paper till flat. Or you can just cut a gash in them with your kitchen shears. You want them to lay flat.
- Put the thighs skin side up on a sheet pan. Sprinkle with the salt.
- Heat ghee in a large cast iron or stainless steel pan.
- When hot, add 4 of the thighs and cook 7-10 minutes rotating pan 90 degrees half way through.
- Flip chicken over and cook 3 or 4 minutes more. While the meat side is up, now's the time to sprinkle with salt and pepper and whatever spices you're using.
- Remove thighs to a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Repeat with the remaining thighs.
- Serve whole or slice into fingers and serve.
- These will spatter so I highly recommend investing in a Splatter Screen. Otherwise, your stove will be a mess. However, the mess is totally worth it–these are that good!
- Thighs work the best. Chicken breasts will dry out so I recommend sticking with the thighs. My husband is not a dark meat fan and he devours these.