Dinner in thirty minutes? Check. Low carb and high protein? Check. Budget-friendly? Check. Not compromising on taste and flavor? Check.
This has become a go-to meal for me during the week. Something magical happens when red onions and lemons are caramelized in chicken thigh fat. By using skin-on, bone-in chicken thigh, all the flavor is coming from the chicken itself, and infusing the rest of the ingredients. A dash of red pepper flakes and oregano finishes off the dish.
- 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (roughly 2 lbs)
- 1 small red onion, halved, and sliced very thinly
- 1 lemon, sliced very thinly, with skin still on – discard any seeds
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 springs of fresh oregano, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- red chile flakes to taste, depending on how spicy you like it
- salt and pepper
Step 1: Combine the thinly sliced red onions and lemon slices in a bowl and gently massage so that some of the juices from the lemons release. Salt and pepper the mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes or more – the acid from the lemons are essentially pickling the red onions, and softening them.
Step 2: Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Salt and pepper the skin-on side of the chicken thighs. Drop 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in the pan over medium high heat. Once the pan becomes hot, place the chicken thighs in the pan, and continue searing the chicken for 8 minutes without moving the chicken thighs at all. All the chicken fat will render out. Salt and pepper the other side of the chicken thighs. After the 8 minutes, flip the chicken thighs and continue cooking for another 8 minutes. Set aside the chicken thighs on a plate.
Step 3: Add the red onions and lemon slices to the skillet, including all the accumulated juices, to cook in the chicken fat that has been rendered. While tossing frequently, continue cooking the onions and lemons until caramelized, about 4 minutes. The lemons should get a subtle char on them.
Step 4: Lower the heat to medium. Add the garbanzo beans to the skillet, and season with salt and pepper. And the chicken broth, 3/4 of the chopped oregano, and red pepper flakes, tossing until everything is heated through.
Step 5: Return the chicken thighs to the pan, skin-side up, with all its accumulated juices. Cover the skillet, and cook for a couple minutes, to ensure the chicken thighs are heated through again. It is also a good idea at this point to check your chicken thighs to make sure they are cooked all the through; if not, this is where you can continue cooking them until they are cooked through.
Step 6: Plate and top with the remaining chopped oregano.