One-Pan Meal: Crispy Chicken Thighs with Pesto Pasta

Looking for an easy weeknight meal that still packs a punch? This stovetop-to-oven recipe yields chicken that has crisp, dark-golden skin and juicy tender meat mixed with delicious arugula pesto pasta!

Related: Quick-Fix Chicken Suppers

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Pasta and Pesto

  • 3 1/2 to 4 lb. skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 7 thighs)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 8 oz. cellentani pasta
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Arugula Pesto


Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.
2. Heat oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat until oil just begins to smoke.
3. Place chicken in skillet, skin sides down; reduce heat to medium-high, and cook 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; discard drippings.
4. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Toss with chicken broth and 3 Tbsp. Arugula Pesto. Add pasta mixture to skillet. Place chicken, skin sides up, on pasta.
5. Bake at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes. Dollop with additional Arugula Pesto.

Arugula Pesto
Process 2 cups firmly packed arugula, 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 Tbsp. water, 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a food processor until smooth. Refrigerate up to 1 week. MAKES 1 cup

The Thigh's the Limit on Flavors!
Master the method and you'll have the key to dozens of meals.

Olives & Caperberries: Omit pasta, broth, and pesto. Prepare as directed through Step 3. Cut 1 lemon into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Stir together 1 cup pitted large Spanish olives, 1 cup large caperberries with stems, 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds, and 1/4 cup dry white wine in skillet; add lemon slices. Place chicken, skin sides up, in skillet. Bake as directed. Sprinkle with parsley.

Poblanos & Onions: Omit pasta, chicken broth, and pesto. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 3. Place 3 large poblano peppers, seeded and chopped, and 1/2 large white onion, chopped, in skillet. Place chicken, skin sides up, in skillet. Bake as directed. Remove from oven, and top with 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro and 1/4 cup crumbled queso blanco.

Potatoes & Rosemary: Omit pasta, chicken broth, and pesto. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 3. Place 2 lb. small fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces, in a single layer in skillet, and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary and 1/4 tsp. salt. Place chicken, skin sides up, in skillet, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary. Bake as directed.

For more quick chicken dinners, head to SouthernLiving.com