I do love a good elaborate meal prep, but a lot of the time practical concerns get in the way and you just need to get something on the table in ~10 minutes that doesn’t suck. I was faced with a similar dilemma last week — coming home from work around 6:50, we were having guests over at 7:15 and I’d committed to cooking something meaty. The whole way home I was thinking about what to buy and how to cook it — I settled on seared chicken thighs: basically, cook them the way you’d cook a steak. Simple, high heat, fast and delicious.
- 4-5 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste – but don’t be stingy!
What made this so fast was parallel prep. There’s also some spare time in there while the chicken is cooking so you can double up with a quick sauteed spinach or other veggie side to make a complete meal.
First off, start a cast iron pan heating up over medium heat and set your oven to 400 (we may or may not need the over, but best to be safe!).
As the pan is heating, trim the chicken thighs of any excess fat (not too much now, we still want that extra goodness). Rub thighs with the vegetable oil, then apply salt, pepper, and rosemary. When you’re done, put them in your (now really hot) cast iron. Lay them out flat, make sure none of them are doubled up – the thinner the better.
Cook for about 4 minutes on one side, resisting the urge to mess with them while they’re in then pan, and flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes. If they’re not done at this point, as measured by thermometer or a quick cut to test for chicken sushi, either lower the heat and continue to cook in the pan, or throw the whole pan in the oven.
I like the oven option since then you can set up your sides or table while you wait for the chicken to finish.
Serve with rice or couscous. Sweet! That was fast!