Paleo Crispy Garlic-Dill Chicken Thighs + Roasted Radishes
I try to put a lot of myself and my family into the recipes I share here. I hope that shows in dishes like this Chicken Adobo that's inspired by my Filipino in-laws and this Tah Chin I sort of learned from my Iranian father-in-law when he was trying to use up the whole-roasted lambs leftover from our wedding. And this Keema is a riff on the keema my dad made all the time when I was growing up.
My mom's side of the family tends to get left out of the food stories because, well, I haven't felt the urge to make Irish corned beef and cabbage yet (neither has she—not even once).
My mom loves piecing together our family tree. A couple years ago she went to Ireland with my sister and they looked up some of our family history in Limerick. And for Christmas last year I got her one of those Ancestry.com DNA tests that you can take to find out where your ancestors came from (it was a selfish sort of gift because I was really curious myself). She's always known she's about half Irish, and she always thought the other half was a Scottish/English/Welsh situation so we thought we'd get some confirmation on that.
As we expected, the results came back 56% Irish... but the whole Scottish/English/Welsh situation was way off! There's almost none of that (only 3%!). Turns out, she's 24% Euro-hodgepodge and 26% Scandinavian.
That's a full grandparent's worth of DNA from Norway, Sweden, Finland or Denmark (or Iceland?!) that we never knew about.
So, now I have a mysterious viking great-grandparent (who may or may not have moved to Scotland before landing in North America). Anyway, I hope we can find out more about this unknown branch of the family tree eventually because I'm so intrigued.
In the meantime, this recipe is a nod to my newfound Scandinavian roots and my Minnesotan mama... who doesn't usually like radishes but I'm working on converting her.
This chicken is Good with a capital "G." Like most things on this website, it requires minimal prep, it’s easily riffable and it's heavy on the lemon zest. That's like my Worthy Pause recipe trifecta.
Even if you're not a fan of radishes (MOM), I strongly urge you to give roasted radishes a chance. In this dish, they are slow-cooked in all of the rendered fat from the chicken. The sharpness that raw radishes typically have completely melts away. The fresh herbs and lemon against the richness of the chicken and roots... plus the sweetness of the red onion... that balance? It's Good.
Update: I fed this to my mom one night for dinner and she really liked it—see? You can teach a picky eater new tricks.
Crispy Garlic-Dill Chicken Thighs + Roasted Radishes
paleo, whole30-friendly, gluten-free recipe | serves 2-3
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/4 cup olive oil or melted ghee
6-8 garlic cloves, minced (~2 T)
~2 tsp kosher salt
~1 tsp black pepper
2/3 cup fresh dill, chopped (one big bunch)
1/2 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped (one big bunch)
4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 lbs)
1 lb radishes, quartered
1 red onion, sliced
2 potatoes, diced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grate your lemon peel and set that zest aside.
Mix together 1/4 cup olive oil/ghee, lemon juice from 1/2 the lemon, garlic, 2 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp pepper.
Add half of the fresh herbs (i.e. about 1/3 cup fresh dill and 1/4 cup fresh parsley) to the seasoning mixture. Toss the other half of the herbs with the zest and set aside.
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Then rub it with the seasoning mixture, making sure to pull the skin away from the meat to get lots of garlicky goodness stuffed inside there, too.
In a 13x9 casserole dish, toss the radishes, red onion and potatoes with just a little bit of melted ghee or olive oil (you really don't need much because the chicken fat will do the work), salt and pepper.
Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, making sure to stretch the skin so it gets crispy. Also, move any pieces of garlic off the top of the chicken skin because they will burn too easily up there.
Roast for 45-55 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. If the skin isn't quite crispy enough for you but the chicken is cooked through, run the broiler for 3-5 minutes at the end. (I almost always do.)
Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes, then top the whole pan with the zest, remaining fresh herbs and remaining lemon juice before serving.
If you're cooking for more than 2-3 people, definitely use multiple pans to give the veggies and chicken enough breathing room so they can actually brown.
This is my favorite method to cook bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs to get them nice and crispy. I rotate different veggies, herbs and spices but use this same format all the time! This Greek version is nearly the exact same deal.