Salt-and-Pepper Chicken Thighs with Herby Tomato Salad

Accompanied by an heirloom tomato salad, these super-crispy thighs, inspired by Jess Hereth, Director of Restaurants at Olympia Provisions in Portland, Oregon, are gorgeous paired with orange wines. "Tomatoes are notoriously frustrating with wine, but the balance of acidity, tannin, and tropical flavors in orange wines seems to pair nicely,” Hereth says. Depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes, adjust the lemon juice to taste; late-summer, super-ripe tomatoes may require a bit more acid. This recipe can also be prepared with 4 (4-ounce) bone-in lamb chops; cook 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Salt and Pepper Chicken Thighs with Herby Tomato
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, plain whole-milk yogurt, or kefir

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/2 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (such as grapeseed or peanut oil)

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or thyme

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. Sprinkle chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place buttermilk in a shallow bowl; add chicken, and turn to coat. Place flour on a plate. Working with 1 piece at a time, lift chicken from bowl, letting excess buttermilk drip back into bowl. Dip chicken in flour to coat on both sides. Transfer coated chicken to a separate plate.

  2. Heat neutral oil in a large (10- to 12-inch) skillet over medium-high until oil is hot (about 350°F). Shake excess flour from chicken, and add chicken to oil (oil should come about two-thirds up the height of the chicken). Cook until exterior is golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted in chicken registers 165°F, about 6 minutes per side. Remove chicken from skillet using tongs, and transfer to a paper towel–lined plate or rack. Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon salt; let rest 5 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, toss together tomatoes, shallot, olive oil, oregano, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Divide chicken thighs and tomato salad evenly between 2 plates; serve with lemon wedges.

Suggested Pairing

Rich, skin-contact Italian white.

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