Chicken Thighs with Crunchy Summer Veg

Photo by Chelsie Craig

If you prefer skinless, boneless thighs, that’s fine too. You will need to add about 2 Tbsp. olive oil to the pan to start, and your total cook time will be shorter. Change up the crunchy vegetables as you wish—any sturdy veggie that you enjoy eating raw will be equally good.

4 servings


    • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 lb. total)
    • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    • Kosher salt
    • 2 tsp. mustard seeds
    • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
    • 3 small cucumbers (such as Persian or kirby), cut into 1" pieces
    • 1 watermelon radish or kohlrabi, 1/2 fennel bulb, or 4" piece daikon, very thinly sliced
    • 1 bunch red radishes, trimmed, very thinly sliced
    • 1 bunch scallions, sliced 1/2" thick
    • 3 Tbsp. (or more) red wine vinegar
    • Lightly crushed salted pita chips (for serving)


    1. Heat a medium heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium.
    2. Meanwhile, place chicken thighs, skin side down, on a work surface. Using a paring knife and working one at a time, cut a 1/2"-deep slash along both sides of thigh bone. This will help the thighs cook a little more quickly and evenly. Add oil to pan.
    3. Season chicken on both sides with salt, then sprinkle all over with mustard seeds and fennel seeds, patting to adhere. Place chicken in skillet skin side down, and cook, undisturbed, until skin is very deeply browned and crisp and chicken is about 75 percent cooked through, 18–20 minutes. Some seeds will end up in the pan, which is fine as they will flavor the oil. Spoon out any that are burning. Turn chicken and cook on second side until just cooked through, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a platter and let rest 10 minutes.
    4. While the chicken rests, toss cucumbers, watermelon radish, red radishes, scallions, vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.
    5. Cut chicken off the bone, then slice crosswise into 1 1/2"–2" pieces.
    6. Gently toss chicken and pita chips into salad. Taste and season with more vinegar and/or salt if needed.

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