There are a few signature aromas that say autumn to me – cinnamon apples, sage and squash and roasting chicken top my list. This chicken in particular doesn’t take a lot of work but it tastes like you spent all day roasting it. The juicy chicken cooks in its own juices and you can use these pan drippings to create an incredible sauce to drizzle on top of your chicken or on top of a big pile of mashed potatoes or vegetables.
Pan-roasting is such a beautiful method to achieve succulent, restaurant-quality chicken. Brown the meat first to get the skin nice and crispy and lock in all of the moisture inside of the meat. Then finish everything in the oven until your chicken reaches roasting nirvana. In less than an hour, you have delicious, tender chicken thighs that look like you’ve been slaving for hours.
Preheat oven to 450°. Pat chicken dry and season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12" cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium/medium-low; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Transfer skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.