Skillet Chicken Thighs with White Wine–Butter Sauce

The stovetop-to-oven cast-iron skillet technique in this recipe is our go-to for achieving crispy, juicy chicken thighs. If you’re tight on time, the chicken is delicious without the butter sauce (simply plate the thighs straight out of the oven). But to truly impart restaurant-worthy flavor, try your hand at the classic white wine and butter sauce known as beurre blanc in French. The recipe makes a plentiful amount of sauce; nestle the chicken into some of it, then spoon more over every other component of your dinner. 





4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1/3 cup champagne vinegar
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup chopped chives


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle them on both sides with 1 1/2 teaspoons each salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large oven-proof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet skin-side down and cook, moving them around once or twice to ensure even browning, until the skin is very golden brown, 11 to 12 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat. Grasp a wad of paper towels with tongs and mop up excess fat in the bottom of the skillet—this will prevent the grease from spattering all over your oven; carefully discard the paper towel. Repeat several times until there’s only a thin film of oil over the bottom of the skillet.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the chicken is almost cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip the thighs so they are skin side up, then continue roasting until no longer pink near the bone, another 6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the chicken thighs to a plate, skin side up. Wipe out the skillet and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, start your sauce. Combine the vinegar, wine, shallots, lemon juice and bay leaves in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture is reduced to a wet paste, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cream and continue to simmer until the mixture is reduced to about 2 tablespoons.
  • Reduce the heat to low and remove the bay leaves. Add a few chunks of the butter and whisk constantly until melted, then add a few more chunks and whisk again until melted. Continue adding and whisking the butter, which should melt into a creamy emulsion, until all the butter is incorporated, about 4 minutes. Do not let the sauce go over 130 degrees F or it will separate. If the sauce starts to break, remove from the heat, add 2 ice cubes and whisk until it cools down and comes back together.
  • Season the sauce with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Transfer it to the cast iron skillet, nestle the chicken on top and sprinkle the whole dish with chives. Serve immediately.
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