Ina Garten’s New Chicken Recipe Is One of the Best Things I’ve Made All Year (2024)

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Recipe Review

Christine Gallary

Christine GallaryFood Editor-at-Large

Christine graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, and she has worked at Cook's Illustrated and She lives in San Francisco and loves teaching cooking classes. Follow her latest culinary escapades on Instagram.


published Oct 29, 2020

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Ina Garten’s New Chicken Recipe Is One of the Best Things I’ve Made All Year (1)

After a summer full of salads and grilling out, the cold weather has shifted my cravings and taken me back into the kitchen this fall. I’m looking for hearty comfort foods that slow-cook or, better yet, need the oven so that my chilly house gets a boost of warmth. This recipe from Ina Garten’s latest cookbook, Modern Comfort Food, seemed to check all those boxes: sliced potatoes and buttermilk-marinated chicken thighs get slow-roasted together in a skillet before being showered in fresh herbs at the end.

Any time a main and side dish get to cook together in one pan gets a serious thumbs-up from me: fewer things to monitor and dishes to wash. A few months ago, I served Ina’s crunchy roasted potato recipe from the same book to my family with rave reviews, so I knew I had to add this skillet dinner to my next meal plan.

How to Make Ina Garten’s Skillet Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Marinating the chicken in buttermilk is the first step in this recipe. It calls for four large bone-in chicken thighs that weigh 2 1/2 to 3 pounds total. This size is absolutely enormous, verging on chicken breast territory! My grocery store didn’t have anything close to that size, so I went by weight instead and picked up seven medium thighs. They didn’t all fit in a single layer in my 12-inch cast iron skillet and I ended up cooking one thigh separately, so I recommend buying what will fit comfortably in your skillet without crowding so that the potatoes get a chance to brown.

I marinated the chicken in buttermilk seasoned only with salt and pepper. I missed the part in the directions that called for marinating four to 12 hours and ended up marinating overnight, but it turned out just fine.

The next day, I placed the chicken in a cold, oiled skillet. Although I let a lot of the excess buttermilk drip off the thighs, they still had a good thick coating when they went in the pan. Next came a brushing of Dijon mustard and white wine. It was a bit unclear whether you were supposed to use up the entire mixture—I ended up brushing on about half of it, which seemed like a decent amount. The single tablespoon of wine needed was a bit of an annoyance, though — I’m curious if it can be omitted completely if you don’t have any around or don’t want to crack open a bottle.

Finally, I sprinkled the chicken with a mixture of fresh thyme, paprika, more salt, and more pepper. It’s a tiny amount of paprika that seemed to contribute more color than flavor to the finished dish. The chicken went into a moderately hot oven (350ºF) for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, the chicken was a pale golden-brown and you didn’t really see white buttermilk anymore. I took the thighs out of the pan, then tossed sliced Yukon gold potatoes, minced garlic, and salt and pepper in the drippings in the pan. I placed the chicken back on top of the potatoes and slid the skillet into the oven for another 30 minutes.

After an hour of roasting, the chicken was a gorgeous burnished golden-brown and fully cooked (although mine wasn’t as dark as the picture on Ina’s website). I transferred the thighs to a plate and tented them with foil to keep them warm. I tossed the potatoes in the pan juices, kicked up the oven to 425ºF, and roasted them by themselves for another 15 minutes. When they were ready, you were supposed to put the chicken back on top and sprinkle on more salt and three tablespoons of a combination of chopped parsley and chives before serving. Three tablespoons seemed like a lot to me, so I ended up sprinkling about half onto the potatoes, placing the chicken on top, and then sprinkling the chicken with the rest of the herbs.

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My Honest Review? These Are the Most Flavorful Potatoes I’ve Ever Eaten

Of course the queen of comfort food delivers again. Brava, Ina! This was a really great dinner that hit all my comfort food cravings: the chicken was well-seasoned, moist, and really flavorful. But the star of the show? The humble slices of potatoes underneath. As everything cooked together, the buttermilk separated and the potatoes absorbed some of it and the juices coming out of the chicken.

The potatoes were just slightly tangy in a mouthwatering way, but full of savory chicken flavor, perfectly seasoned and with a hint of garlic. They were honestly some of the best potatoes I’ve ever eaten and reminded me of French fondant potatoes, which are thick slabs of potatoes slow-cooked in broth until savory and browned. Served with a simple green salad, my family was quite happy with their dinner that night. I loved the potatoes so much that I nabbed the last slice and left us with no leftovers, and I would make this recipe again just for the potatoes alone.

My potatoes didn’t brown as much as the ones in Ina’s photo, but that is probably due to the fact that I had more pieces of chicken in the skillet that kept some of the steam from escaping. But they were so flavorful that I didn’t even care that they weren’t crisp around the edges.

If You’re Making Ina’s Skillet Roasted Chicken and Potatoes, a Few Tips

  1. Try to find large chicken thighs. If you can find large chicken thighs (at least 1/2 pound each), use them. Fewer pieces will allow more of the cooking juices to evaporate and give the potatoes a better chance at browning. But honestly, any size thigh will work; just make sure they’ll fit in the skillet in a single layer with some space around each.
  2. Measure out the salt and pepper. I really appreciated that there was a specific amount of salt and pepper called for in each step, and it made for a perfectly seasoned dish. I used Diamond Crystal kosher salt and highly recommend that you take the time to follow the measurements for seasoning.
  3. Garnish the potatoes in herbs. I loved having some of the fresh herbs on the potatoes and highly recommend sprinkling some on before returning the chicken to the skillet for serving. The combination of parsley and chives is great throughout the whole dish.

Your turn:Have you tried making Ina Garten’s Skillet Roasted Chicken and Potatoes at home? Let us know in the comments!

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Recipe Review

Ina Garten’s New Chicken Recipe Is One of the Best Things I’ve Made All Year (2024)


Is it better to roast chicken at 350 or 400? ›

You can roast or bake anywhere between 325 and 450 degrees F. When roasting a whole chicken, a nice rule of them is to start at 400 to 425 degrees F and then turn the oven down to 350 after 15 minutes and cook until the internal temp of the chicken is 165 – 175 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.

How to make chicken more flavorful? ›

Add a touch of spice to your chicken breast by combining paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, ginger, garlic and olive oil to create a paste. Then cover your chicken breast with the paste and pat down to secure.

How do you make already cooked chicken taste better? ›

Just because the chicken is already cooked doesn't mean it can't benefit from a rub. Before reheating, make a custom blend of your favorite spices like paprika, cayenne, onion or garlic powder. Mix in dried herbs or a bit of sugar for beautiful caramelization, then sprinkle it evenly over the skin.

What does buttermilk do to chicken? ›

The secret to making the perfect fried chicken is the use of buttermilk, as it helps tenderize each piece while leaving each bite juicy and crispy. After marinating, dredge your chicken pieces in the flour mixture and get to frying!

Should you bake chicken covered or uncovered at 400? ›

You never have to worry about covering chicken while baking, as it's OK to bake it uncovered. Once your chicken is in the oven, it's hands-free until you need to check the temperature. Then, you can whip up a no-cook appetizer, vegetable or potato side dish, or dessert if you're feeling ambitious.

Which cut of chicken do chefs prefer for most recipes? ›

Any chef I know prefers the thighs because they have a higher fat content which helps prevent them from drying out and becoming sandpaper in your mouth. Thighs are much more versatile. They stand up to poaching, braising, frying, roasting… they don't require as much direct attention.

Is it better to roast or bake chicken in the oven? ›

Result: Baking tends to produce a more evenly cooked chicken with tender meat and a crispy skin. It's often used for whole chickens, chicken pieces, or chic.

What spices enhance the flavor of chicken? ›

5 best spice and herbs blends for chicken and meat
  • Paprika and garlic powder. Paprika is a great spice that makes any chicken dish stand out, it comes in many forms sweet, hot, regular and smoky. ...
  • Basil and rosemary. ...
  • Ginger and lemongrass. ...
  • Turmeric and chili. ...
  • Coriander and cumin.

What makes chicken taste really good? ›

The reaction of cysteine and sugar can lead to characteristic meat flavour specially for chicken and pork. Volatile compounds including 2-methyl-3-furanthiol, 2-furfurylthiol, methionol, 2,4,5-trimethyl-thiazole, nonanol, 2-trans-nonenal, and other compounds have been identified as important for the flavour of chicken.

What to do with a rotisserie chicken after buying it? ›

So next time you go grocery shopping, grab a rotisserie bird and whip up some of these lazy yet delicious meals.
  1. Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps. ...
  2. Quick and Easy Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Alfredo. ...
  3. Chicken Bacon Ranch Baked Potatoes. ...
  4. Chicken & Biscuits Bake. ...
  5. BBQ Chicken Pasta Bake. ...
  6. Chicken Fried Rice.
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How do you make cooked chicken more juicy? ›

You can do this by marinating the cooked chicken in a sauce or broth for a while. This can help rehydrate the meat and add some flavor. Just be careful not to over-marinate, as the chicken could become mushy. Steam: Reheating the chicken with steam can help add moisture back into t.

Why does my chicken taste bad when I reheat it? ›

Occurrence of warmed-over flavor

The iron is released by the heat of cooking, or by mechanical grinding. The free iron then acts as a catalyst, or promoter, of oxidation reactions. The reactions break down some of the fats in the meat to form primary oxidation products.

How to cook chicken like a chef? ›

How to Make Perfectly Cooked Chicken Breasts
  1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and black pepper on both sides.
  2. Add olive oil to a sauté pan over high heat. ...
  3. Heat the oil until it begins to smoke lightly. ...
  4. Add the chicken breasts, turn the heat to medium-high, and cook them for 3 ½ to 4 minutes.
Oct 23, 2023

Is Hell's chicken owned by Gordon Ramsay? ›

Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen is a fine dining restaurant chain owned by British chef Gordon Ramsay and based on the reality TV show Hell's Kitchen. As of 2023, the chain consists of seven U.S. locations.

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