These Pan Seared Chicken Thighs are seasoned with thyme, lemon zest, and freshly cracked black pepper and pan seared in a butter sauce. This easy meal is sure to become a weeknight staple!
You'll love how easy these pan seared chicken thighs are to make. Simple pantry staples come together to intensely flavor chicken thighs that are then cooked in butter to create a delicious browned butter sauce. It's the perfect weeknight meal.
Chicken Thighs - This economical tasty cut of meat is perfect for pan searing. It's far less likely to dry out and has a ton of flavor.
Butter - The fat that the chicken cooks in. As the chicken cooks, the butter will begin to brown, creating an extremely flavorful sauce.
Olive Oil - Prevents the butter from burning.
Thyme - This herb pairs beautifully with chicken. I opted for dried thyme for ease but fresh thyme would be great too.
Lemon Zest - Elevates the flavor of the thyme and gives the chicken a more vibrant taste.
Black Pepper - A natural pairing with lemon, freshly cracked black pepper adds a subtle heat to the chicken and balances out the butter.
Step By Step Instructions
Note: Full list of ingredients, their amounts, and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
In a large casserole pan or cast iron skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.
Using kitchen shears or a knife, trim away excess skin and fat from the chicken thighs.
In a large bowl, mix together the thyme, lemon zest, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
Add the prepared chicken thighs to the seasoning mixture and toss until the chicken is coated evenly.
Once the butter and oil is hot and has started to bubble, place the chicken thighs in the pan skin side down. Allow the chicken to cook, undisturbed for 17 to 18 minutes.
Flip the chicken over and continue cooking for another 10 to 12 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center (not touching bone) reaches 165 degrees F.
Note: Gently lift the chicken thighs to flip. If the skin is stuck to the pan, allow the chicken to continue cooking until the skin releases on its own to avoid tearing.
Serve with the browned butter sauce. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
- Make the seasoning and coat the chicken in it in the morning and keep the chicken in the fridge until ready to cook. This will make the meal faster and the chicken even more flavorful.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness.
Substitutions & Variations
- Switch up the herb. Rosemary, sage, and oregano would all be great substitutions.
- Squeeze about a tablespoon of lemon juice in the butter at the end for a more lemony flavor.
Storage & Reheating
Keep the chicken and sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
The chicken can be reheated in the microwave or on the stove until warmed through.
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Pan Seared Chicken Thighs
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper preferably freshly cracked
- zest from 1 lemon
- In a large casserole pan or cast iron skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.
- Using kitchen shears or a knife, trim away excess skin and fat from the chicken thighs.
- In a large bowl, mix together the salt, thyme, lemon zest, garlic powder, and black pepper.
- Add the chicken thighs to the seasoning mixture and toss to evenly coat.
- Once the butter and olive oil is hot and has started to bubble, place the chicken thighs skin side down in the pan. Allow them to cook, undisturbed for 17 to 18 minutes or until the skin releases when lifted.
- Flip the chicken over and cook on the other side for another 10 to 12 minutes or until cooked through and a meat thermometer inserted in the center reaches 165 degrees F.
- Serve the chicken thighs with the browned butter sauce from the pan.
- I highly recommend using kitchen shears to trim away the excess skin and fat.
- You can toss the chicken in the seasoning mixture up to one day in advance and chill it covered in the fridge until you're ready to use.
- If you want more lemon flavor, squeeze a tablespoon of lemon juice into the butter sauce when it's done cooking or serve lemon slices on the side.
- Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove.