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Cast iron boneless chicken thighs are a dish that everybody loves here. No worries, they are easy to make. They have crunchies to add a great flavor to the top of them, but you do have to do them in a cast iron pan. You will not get these crunchies with another pan.
Have I mentioned my love affair with my cast iron pan before? Yeah I probably have before. It is one of the most versatile pans one can have in their kitchen! New to cast iron and not convinced you will like them? Learn more about why I love my cast iron pans.
Boneless skinless chicken thighs are amazing for dinner. They don’t dry out as easy as chicken breasts do so no worries if you cooked them a little longer, just be sure that they are cooked all the way through.
We also love grilled boneless chicken thighs when the weather is nice, but you won’t get the crunchies on the grill like you do in this recipe.
Prepping the cast iron chicken thighs
You want to start out mixing the dry rub ingredients together – salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, paprika and turmeric. Rub the spices onto top and and bottom of the boneless chicken thighs and let them sit for about 10 minutes. While they sit out, you can chop your garlic cloves, but they do not get added until the end.
Getting your skillet ready and start cooking
Please note that I have a gas stove with 5 different burner sizes so I do have one that fits the pan well and my stove may heat the pan faster then some stoves. Not a major deal if you do not heat skillet long enough, but for this recipe it is better to be heated well.
Turn your burner onto medium and let the skillet warm up. I go for 2 minutes and it is pretty good there. Add the coconut oil and let it melt completely, less then a minute. Coconut oil has a lower smoke point so please do not turn burner up too high and never deep fry with it (just a friendly notice.) But it is safe to use here and at medium temps. I use it all the time when I saute stuff. You can use other oils here, but coconut is my preferred for these thighs.
Next add the chicken to the pan. You should hear it sizzle if the pan is heated enough.
As you see, I really need to get the next size up with my pan! These cast iron chicken thighs and my cast iron skillet leg quarters really max out the space in the pan. This is a 12 inch pan.
Cook them for about 10 minutes on each side, until they are no longer pink and are cooked through. This depends on the size of the thighs and the stove.
Remove the thighs from skillet and cover to keep warm. Do not wipe out pan, only take out the chicken.
Oh the Crunchies!
Add butter to the pan and allow it to melt. Next add in the minced garlic, dried minced onion and red pepper flakes, saute for about a minute. Now add the parmesan cheese and stir quickly. Add the chicken back to the pan for a minute on each side. If there is any juice on the plate from it setting out, add that juice too.
Turn off skillet and take chicken back out of pan and onto a serving dish. Take a fork and scrape the crunchies off the bottom of pan (this is the good stuff!) These crunchies are why you can not use any other pan to make these cast iron chicken thighs. They will be stuck to the bottom of stainless steel and non stick (well I don’t like non stick anyway) will just not create them.
Add some crunchies to the top of the chicken. I also put the rest of the crunchies and some of the liquid in a serving bowl so we can add more on each piece if wanted. Enjoy 🙂
As a Note:
As mentioned above, my stove may cook faster then other stoves (or not as fast as others.) Keep that in mind with the cooking time for the thighs, they are approximate and be sure your chicken is cooked through.
Also I would like to mention again, coconut oil is a great oil to cook with but has a low smoke point – around 350. I use it in my recipes a lot, but please never deep fry with it (or olive oil) and please keep temps at a medium temperature. Do not be afraid to use it, just be aware of it’s smoking point at higher temperatures.
Another quick note if you are new to cast iron – the whole pan will be hot. Never touch the handle without a pot holder.
Cast Iron Boneless Chicken Thighs
- 2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs 8 thighs
- 2 tbsp coconut oil virgin unrefined
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp dried minced onion
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp turmeric ground
- 1 tsp paprika ground
- 1/2 tsp cumin ground
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper ground
- Prepare dry rub and rub it on both sides of chicken thighs. Let them sit for about 10 minutes.
- Heat cast iron pan on medium for about 2 minutes, electric stoves might require a little longer. Add oil to the pan and wait for it to be completely melted, about a minute or less.
- Add chicken thighs to the pan, they should sizzle when you add them. If they don’t, they may require a longer cooking time. Cook for about 10 minutes on each side, until they are no longer pink and cooked all the way through. Do not flip over before the 10 minute mark.Remove chicken thighs from pan and cover to keep warm. Leave the oil/chicken juice in the pan and keep it on medium heat.
- Add the butter to the pan and melt. Add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes and dried minced onion to the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes.Add the parmesan cheese and mix it in immediately.
- Add the chicken thighs and any juice they lost while resting back into the pan. Cook chicken for about 1 minute on each side. Remove from pan and put in a serving dish.
- Scrape the crunchies off the bottom of the pan and put some on the chicken thighs. Put the rest of the crunchies and some liquid in the pan into a bowl in case anybody wants extras on their chicken.Enjoy!