Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs, with Late-Summer Vegetables, and Pan Sauce



By Cat,  Oct 2007 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Pan roasting was a new experience for me; but after trying Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts, with Herb & Wine Sauce, originally from Cook’s Magazine, I was hooked. It’s quick and easy, and the result is delicious. Slow roasting in the oven is probably a more healthful way to roast meats, but takes much longer. For this recipe, instead of roasting the chicken on stove-top, you can roast the pieces on the upper rack of the over (with the veggies on the lower rack), which is how I did it for my test recipe.

This version adds late summer veggies: green beans, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil and olives, and an easy pan sauce to the quick-roasted chicken pieces.

Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs, with Late-Summer Vegetables, and Pan Sauce

This recipe is adapted from Fine Cooking, originally by Martha Holmberg (1), and serves 2. Alternately, you could use both thighs and drumsticks of a chicken instead of just thighs.

Nicoise olives are small, about the size of a blueberry; alternately, you can use capers. Kalamatas are larger and you may want to slice them in half. If you can find them, use brined olives rather than canned ones, as they are more healthful (they provide probiotics and enzymes as well as all the native nutrients in olives).

You can roast chicken in the pan or in the oven, after browning; your choice. However, the veggies are roasted in the oven (or on a grill).

It’s taken me a few years to get around to testing this recipe (2019).

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs; or 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, brined (optional)
  • Unrefined sea salt & ground black pepper
  • Veggie mix:
  • 8 oz fresh green beans, trimmed (about 2 cups)
  • 10 oz cherry or grape tomatoes (2 cups)
  • ½ large sweet or red onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • ½ cup pitted Nicoise (or capers), and/or Kalamata brined olives
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Roast and Sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp lard or bacon fat
  • ¾ cup dry white wine, such as vermouth; or half wine, half homemade chicken stock
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, sliced into ½ inch strips
  • Equipment:
  • large bowl (for brining)
  • large bowl (for veggies)
  • cast iron skillet with oven-proof handle
  • splatter screen
  • rimmed baking sheet
  • sauce whisk


  1. Optional brining: Place chicken pieces in a bowl of salt brine, and let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Refer to How to Brine Chicken for instructions.
  2. If chicken is not brined, generously salt and pepper the pieces; if brined, rinse and pat dry, then season only with pepper.
  3. While chicken is brining, preheat oven to 425°F and prep the veggies: Wash &trim beans, and cut or snap into 2″ lengths; wash tomatoes; cut onion crosswise into ½” thick slices; peel then slice garlic ⅛” thick; cut olives (if needed). Toss all in bowl with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Season with about ¾ tsp salt and several grinds pepper. Spread on rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Roast veggies: place baking sheet with veggies on lower rack of preheated oven 25 – 30 minutes
  5. Roast chicken: Heat remaining 1 Tbsp lard (or bacon fat) in skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken pieces, skin side down.  Cover with a splatter screen to minimize splattering (do not use a lid).  Cook 5 – 7 minutes until browned.  Using a kitchen tong, turn over each piece, and cook another 3 – 5 minutes.
  6. Turn pieces over again (skin side down), and roast another 18 – 20 minutes in pan.
  7. Alternately, place skillet on upper rack of oven (above the veggies) about 10 minutes after you put the veggies in the oven, and roast 18 – 20 minutes until done (thigh should register 160°F with an instant read thermometer).
  8. While chicken is roasting, slice basil leaves and set aside.
  9. Sauce: When chicken is done, remove from heat/oven and transfer pieces to a plate. Spoon off fat as desired, but leave about 1 Tsp in the skillet. Add wine, set over high heat, and boil until reduced to ¼ cup, 4 – 6 minutes, scraping browned bits off bottom of skillet. Swirl in butter until melted. Off heat.
  10. Serve: Remove veggies from oven, and toss with sliced basil. Arrange chicken pieces on top of veggies and drizzle with sauce. Serve immediately.


Aug 19, 2019:  Made half recipe (1 each, drumstick, thigh, wing and brined half-breast from a Hutterite chicken). Used part shallot and part sweet onion, garlic from my garden, grape tomatoes and fresh green beans. No brined, pitted Greek olives available so used capers and canned, pitted Kalamatas. Roasted browned chicken pieces in oven (in skillet), with veggies, then placed veggies in glass storage pan, topped with chicken, basil slices. Made sauce and poured over everything in the glass pan. Result: Delicious; I had the 2-bone part of the wing, and half of a half-breast with 1/3 of the veggie mix and part of the sauce; delicious. This is really easy to make, but the hot oven heats up the house so not good for a hot summer day.


  1. Fine Cooking recipe, originally by Martha Holmberg (

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