Skillet Chicken Thighs with Potatoes, Carrots, and Greens

BudgetSkillet RecipeChicken ThighPotatoes

Crispy skillet chicken is cooked in a flavorful lemon broth and served on a bed of Swiss chard, potatoes, and carrots. This bistro-style oven braised chicken with vegetables has everything you love about cozy comfort food.

Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

While strictly speaking this is not a French dish, it has all the characteristics of a warm and cozy meal you could imagine having at a local corner café in France. If you can’t travel, you might as well eat like you are!

This bistro-style crispy chicken is braised with carrots, potatoes, and, for good measure, greens in a mustard and lemon seasoned chicken broth. It all comes together easily in a skillet and adds up to a satisfying, flavorful meal.

THE BONUS TO BRAISING CHICKEN

Braising is one way to cook meat with moist heat. It cooks food gently, keeps it from drying out, and requires only a small amount of liquid in the pan. Stewing, on the other hand, contains a lot more liquid, enough to submerge the meat.

The real bonus here, though, is that the small amount of braising liquid on the bottom of the skillet allows the chicken skin to become crisp in the oven, while the vegetables cook in the juices. The liquid in the skillet creates a kind of flavor exchange—the vegetables give the broth extra richness, and the chicken permeates the vegetables.

Two crispy skillet chicken thighs with baby carrots and wilted greens. The shallow bowl has a blue pattern around the edge. A yellow handled knife is on the right edge. A folded napkin has a fork on top. More of the skillet chicken thighs with potatoes, carrots and greens in a bowl partially visible in the upper right corner.

WINNER, WINNER SKILLET DINNER

After you brown the chicken on one side, set it aside on a plate and give the potatoes and carrots a head start. Return the chicken to the pan with the stock and pop it in the oven for half an hour or so. The chicken takes another turn on a clean plate while you cook the chard leaves in the pan on top of the stove. Finally, set the chicken atop the vegetables and serve with a squeeze of lemon.

WAYS TO ADAPT THIS RECIPE

When it comes to cooking, you can always find ways to tweak recipes.

  • No big skillet? No problem! Cook the chicken in batches in the skillet and transfer them to a baking dish or use two skillets and divide the ingredients between them or use a Dutch oven.
  • Swiss chard substitute? Use greens of your choice such as kale, baby kale, or spinach. If you stick with chard, know that it’s much sweeter than kale, and if you’re not used to cooking with it, I strongly urge you to try it. Trim the leaves from the stems and cut the stems into pieces. They’re sweet and delicious, and the stems add another element to the dish.
  • Not a fan of chicken thighs? Thighs stay moist and make a delicious change from chicken breasts, but you could use chicken breasts, too. Look for small breast halves with the skin and bone, so you can dig into that crispy skin. Boneless breasts will take a lot less time to cook, so if you use them, you will need to cook the vegetables in the oven for about 25 minutes first, sauté the chicken separately, and then add it to the pan to finish cooking for a few minutes.

A shallow white bowl has one crispy chicken thigh covered in herbs. Baby carrots, wilted chard and chopped potatoes with a broth at the bottom are in the bowl. A knife is on the right side and a fork is on the right side of the bowl.

HOW TO PREPARE THIS DISH AHEAD OF TIME

I recommend cooking this dish all the way through, cooling it, then freezing it to reheat at a later date. This is a perfect make and reheat meal if you’re caring for someone or bringing a dish to friend who may not need to eat it now but could reheat it later.

Although you could safely freeze this for up to four months, two months is optimal for preserving good flavor and texture.

  • One to two days ahead: Cook the entire recipe to the end. Store the chicken and vegetables in separate containers in the fridge. About 30 minutes before serving, spread the vegetables in the bottom of a baking dish, place the chicken on top, and heat, uncovered, at 375˚F until the vegetables are hot all the way through and the chicken is crispy. The same goes for leftovers!
  • Freeze for up to 2 months: Cook the chicken and vegetables. Place the vegetables in a freezer bag and place the chicken on top of the vegetables. (You will need at least two bags.) Seal the bags so they are airtight. Freeze flat. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as per the method above.

MORE CHICKEN SKILLET DINNERS

Skillet Chicken Thighs with Potatoes, Carrots, and Greens Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 (3 pounds) bone-in, skin-on, chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 4 medium) Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 12 ounces baby carrots
  • 3 whole, unpeeled cloves garlic, smashed with the flat of a knife to break the skin
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Special equipment:

Method

1 Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

2 Trim and season the chicken thighs: With scissors or a sharp knife, cut off excess flaps of skin and fat from the thighs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.

3 Prep the chard stalks and leaves: Tear or cut the stalks from the leaves. Cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Slice the leaves into 2-inch-wide strips. Keep the stalks and leaves separate.

Chopped swiss chard stems on a white cutting board. Chopped swiss chard leaves on a white cutting board. Stems are removed.

4 Brown the chicken and par-cook the potatoes and carrots: In a large (12- to 13-inch) ovenproof skillet set over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once the oil shimmers, add the chicken with the skin side down. Cook on the skin side only for about 5 minutes without disturbing it, or until the skin lightly browns.

Transfer to a plate. (If the chicken doesn’t fit in one skillet, cook in batches or use two smaller skillets and divide the ingredients between them.)

Add the potatoes and carrots to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, or until they brown lightly.

A grey skillet on a marble backgound with chicken thighs browning in olive oil for the best skillet chicken thighs with potatoes, carrots and greens. A grey skillet with chopped potatoes and baby carrots browned inside. The skillet is on a white marble background.

5 Prep the braising liquid: In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk the chicken stock, mustard, and lemon zest to combine.

6 Braise the chicken: Add the chard stalks, smashed garlic and braising liquid to the skillet with the vegetables. Set the chicken pieces on top and sprinkle with the thyme.

A grey skillet on a marble background with chopped potatoes, baby carrots, garlic cloves and swiss chard stems cooking in a broth. A grey skillet with crispy chicken thighs, chopped potatoes, baby carrots and swiss chard stems cooking inside.

7 Transfer to the oven: Transfer the pan to the oven. Roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Remove the pan from the oven.

8 Add the chard leaves: Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate. Taste the broth and add more salt, if you like. Set the skillet over high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir the chard leaves into the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until wilted. Remove the garlic cloves.

A grey skillet on a marble background with baby carrots, chopped potatoes and wilted greens inside.

9 Serve: Set the chicken on top of the vegetables. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve from the skillet, or transfer to a large serving platter. Serve as is, or with a salad.

A grey non-stick skillet is full of the best crispy skillet chicken thighs with potatoes, carrots and greens. The skillet is on a marble background.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

Products We Love

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of three cookbooks (Food for Friends, The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press, and The Cranberry Cookbook). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

More from Sally

5 Comments / Reviews

No ImageSkillet Chicken Thighs with Potatoes, Carrots, and Greens

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Rebecca

    Amazing! My husband is on a specific diet. I made his with carrots only and a side of mashed rutabaga. He loved it! I made our son it with potato & carrot. I made extra braising sauce & extra chicken . They’re excited to eat left overs!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. CTC

    Was great. Did not have Swiss chard so I subbed celery and spinach where the recipe called for stalks and leaves.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Ann

    Loved this. Didn’t have chicken stock though, so used white wine. It was wonderful.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Sabrina

    Loved this recipe! There are only two of us, so I cut the recipe in half. It worked beautifully. I did cut the cooking time in the oven down to 25 minutes and I used spinach at the end.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Sandy S.

    Wonderful recipe! Delicious and you instructions make it easy to prepare. And thank you for the make ahead tips!

    xxxxxyyyyy

Close up photo of of crispy chicken thighs with cubed potatoes and greens visible in the dish. Serving fork and spoon are on the upper edge of the skillet. The chicken is sprinkled with herbs and a striped grey linen is behind the skillet.Skillet Chicken Thighs with Potatoes, Carrots, and Greens