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Roasted Grapefruit Chicken Thighs Recipe

Chicken in pan with grapefruit and thyme
Chicken in pan with grapefruit and thyme - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Meet your new dinner MVP -- bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are an underappreciated cut of meat that is full of flavor, and this recipe harnesses their potential with a sticky, sweet, tangy, and aromatic grapefruit glaze.

According to Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table, chicken thighs have more natural fat and collagen than chicken breasts, keeping them juicier when cooked. This recipe for roasted grapefruit chicken thighs is a fantastic way to showcase the savory richness of this cut. This dish pairs the luxurious chicken with the bright, citrusy sweetness of grapefruit for a dish that tastes fresh, inviting, and acidic all at the same time.

To make this dish, chicken thighs are seasoned simply with salt, pepper, and thyme before roasting. Slices of fresh grapefruit are added to the pan to caramelize and release their tangy juice underneath the chicken as it cooks. A quick pan sauce is made with grapefruit juice, honey, thyme, and garlic, and it's spooned over the roasted chicken for a glossy sheen. The sweet and sour notes of the grapefruit balance beautifully with the chicken's richness. It's a straightforward recipe that highlights the natural flavors of its main ingredients, providing a dish that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken

Gather The Ingredients For Roasted Grapefruit Chicken Thighs

ingredients
ingredients - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

To make this saucy roasted chicken dish, you will need bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, salt, pepper, a grapefruit, fresh thyme branches, vegetable oil, unsalted butter, grapefruit juice, honey, and garlic cloves. The savory chicken is seasoned simply with salt and pepper and then roasted along with grapefruit slices and thyme to infuse it with citrus flavor. A glaze is made by simmering together grapefruit juice, honey, butter, garlic, and more thyme. The sweet and tangy glaze is brushed over the chicken while it roasts to give it a glossy sheen and balance the flavors. A final garnish of fresh thyme adds an aromatic touch.

Step 1: Preheat The Oven

Oven set to 400
Oven set to 400 - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Step 2: Season The Chicken

Seasoned chicken with salt and pepper
Seasoned chicken with salt and pepper - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Step 3: Preheat Oil In A Pan

Oil in a pan
Oil in a pan - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Heat vegetable oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.

Step 4: Sear Chicken On One Side

Raw chicken in pan
Raw chicken in pan - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Add the chicken skin-side down. Cook for 6–8 mins on one side, until browned.

Step 5: Sear Chicken On The Other Side

Seared chicken in pan with salt
Seared chicken in pan with salt - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Turn over and cook on the other side for an additional 6 minutes.

Step 6: Transfer To The Oven To Roast

Seared chicken in a pan with grapefruit and thyme
Seared chicken in a pan with grapefruit and thyme - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Arrange the grapefruit slices and half of the thyme branches on and around the chicken in a skillet. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 mins.

Step 7: Melt Butter In A Saucepan

Butter in pan
Butter in pan - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Step 8: Add Grapefruit Juice

Sauce in pan
Sauce in pan - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Add grapefruit juice and honey.

Step 9: Add Seasonings

Sauce in pan
Sauce in pan - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Add garlic and the remaining thyme branches, and cook for 1 minute.

Step 10: Simmer To Reduce

Hand holding sauce in pan
Hand holding sauce in pan - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Simmer until reduced to a glaze, about 10 mins.

Step 11: Brush On The Glaze

Glazing the chicken
Glazing the chicken - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Brush the glaze over the cooked chicken.

Step 10: Finish Baking In The Oven

Chicken in pan with sauce
Chicken in pan with sauce - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.

Step 11: Serve The Grapefruit Chicken

Chicken in plate over rice with large pan in the back
Chicken in plate over rice with large pan in the back - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Serve chicken topped with a few more fresh thyme branches.

Can I Use Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs Instead For This Grapefruit Chicken Recipe?

Chicken in plate over rice with grapefruit and thyme
Chicken in plate over rice with grapefruit and thyme - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of bone-in, skin-on thighs for this recipe. However, the skin helps keep the chicken moist and adds flavor from the fat rendering during cooking. The bones also add moisture and more chicken flavor to the dish. If using boneless, skinless thighs, brush them with a little oil before cooking to keep them from drying out. Reduce the cooking time by about 5–10 minutes since boneless thighs will cook faster. Measure the internal temperature of the chicken after the first, 15-minute roast, and only return them to the oven for a short bake with the glaze for about 5 minutes, until they reach 165 F. You may also want to double the amount of grapefruit glaze since boneless, skinless thighs won't release as much fat and juice.

What Type Of Grapefruit Works Best In This Roasted Grapefruit Chicken Recipe?

Side view of chicken in pan with grapefruit and thyme
Side view of chicken in pan with grapefruit and thyme - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

For this recipe, ruby red and pink grapefruits would work best. They have thinner skins that can be easily sliced and segmented for roasting under the chicken. Their flesh is also less bitter and acidic than some other varieties. Look for grapefruits with smooth, shiny skins which indicate ripeness and tend to be thinner. Avoid thick-skinned grapefruits like pomelos or white grapefruits, which would be difficult to slice into segments. The red and pink varieties like Star Ruby and Rio Red have a nice balance of sweet and tart that pairs well with the savory chicken. Their bright color also makes for an attractive presentation. Make sure any grapefruit you use is fresh and ripe for the best flavor. Tart, fully ripe grapefruits will give you the classic, citrusy, sweet, and sour notes that best complement this dish.

Can I Make The Grapefruit Glaze Ahead Of Time, And How Can I Store The Roasted Chicken Leftovers?

Chicken in pan with grapefruit and thyme beside rice
Chicken in pan with grapefruit and thyme beside rice - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Yes -- you can prepare the grapefruit glaze up to 3 days in advance before roasting the chicken. Store the glaze in an airtight container or jar, refrigerated, until ready to use. When ready to make the dish, gently reheat the glaze in a small saucepan until warm and fluid before brushing it on the cooked chicken. For storing leftovers, let the roasted chicken and any remaining glaze cool completely before refrigerating them together in an airtight container. The chicken will keep well for 3–4 days in the refrigerator. You can reuse the glaze to brush on the chicken before reheating to serve again. Simply reheat the chicken in a 350 F oven or the microwave until warmed through, then coat with the glaze again to serve. The extra grapefruit slices can also be reserved and used to make a quick salad or side dish for any leftover chicken.

Roasted Grapefruit Chicken Thighs Recipe

Close up on chicken in pan with grapefruit and thyme
Close up on chicken in pan with grapefruit and thyme - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 10mCook Time: 42mYield: 4 servingsIngredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 8 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 grapefruit, sliced

  • 9 + 9 fresh thyme branches, divided, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 cup grapefruit juice

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  2. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  3. Heat vegetable oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.

  4. Add the chicken skin-side down. Cook for 6–8 mins on one side, until browned.

  5. Turn over and cook on the other side for an additional 6 minutes.

  6. Arrange the grapefruit slices and half of the thyme branches on and around the chicken in a skillet. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 mins.

  7. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

  8. Add grapefruit juice and honey.

  9. Add garlic and the remaining thyme branches, and cook for 1 minute.

  10. Simmer until reduced to a glaze, about 10 mins.

  11. Brush the glaze over the cooked chicken.

  12. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.

  13. Serve chicken topped with a few more fresh thyme branches.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.