Crispy, crackly, chicken thighs with cool and creamy buttermilk caesar slaw... this crowd-pleasing recipe is destined for you weeknight dinner rotation!
Have you ever heard of “chicken under a brick”? Chicken under a brick, or Brick Chicken is a cooking technique in which a brick, wrapped in foil, is used to press down on chicken as it cooks in a pan skin side down. The weight of the brick ensures that the skin makes even contact across the bottom of the pan. As the chicken cooks the fat renders and the skin becomes deeply golden brown and crispy. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! It reminds me of eating crispy pork belly with crackling skin!
Don’t have a spare brick lying around? Not a problem! I also don’t have a spare brick nor do I plan on acquiring one. I have written bricks out of the recipe altogether and will instead advise you to use a foil-wrapped cast iron pan to weigh down your chicken as it cooks. I assure you this method works just as well.
Ok last thing, lets talk Caesar Slaw…I don’t know why I’d never thought to make a buttermilk caesar dressing before now! Buttermilk melds so perfectly with garlicky, lemony caesar dressing. It lightens up the dressing while giving a punch of tanginess that lifts up the hearty Napa cabbage and perfectly cuts through the fattiness of the chicken thighs. I like to toss the dressing with the cabbage just before serving so that everything stays nice and crisp!
Ingredients In This Recipe:
To make the Crispy Chicken Thighs you’ll need: kosher salt, neutral oil and skin on, bone-in chicken thighs. Note: I’ll teach out how to remove the bones below but if you can have your butcher do it for you even better!
To make the Buttermilk Caesar Slaw you’ll need: Napa cabbage, broccolini, radicchio, buttermilk (3-Ways to Make Buttermilk) mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, anchovy (optional), dijon mustard and garlic.
Recipe Step by Step:
Step 1. Debone the Chicken
Place the chicken thighs skin side down on a cutting board. Using a small sharp knife or kitchen shears cut straight down into flesh until the tip of the knife hits the bone. Lightly scrape the surface of the bone with short strokes cutting the meat away from bone on both sides until you can release it from the flesh. Discard the bones or save them in the freezer to add to chicken stock. If you need more in-depth instructions check out this post from The Woks of Life.
Step 3. Cook “Under a Brick”
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper then place in a hot pan, skin side down. Wrap a cast iron pan with foil and place it on top of the chicken to weigh it down. Cook until the skin is deeply golden brown, about 12-15 minutes then, remove the cast iron pan and flip the chicken to the other side to finish cooking for 1-2 minutes.
Step 3. Make the Slaw
Blend together the buttermilk caesar dressing in a blender and then toss with the cabbage, radicchio and broccolini. Season with salt and top with extra grated parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper. Serve the crispy chicken thighs with a heaping serving of buttermilk caesar slaw!
FAQs and Expert Tips
*sigh* Yes, you can omit the anchovy from the dressing. If you want to replace it with something else you can use 1 Tbsp of capers or 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce.
This is a predicament I used to find myself in often until I learned you can freeze leftover buttermilk! Transfer it to an airtight container then pop it in the freezer for up to three months. Or, you try out some of these other delicious recipes made with buttermilk: Oat Flour Buttermilk Pancakes, Buffalo Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing, or Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Basil Dressing.
Check Out More Delicious Recipes!
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Crispy Chicken Thighs with Buttermilk Caesar Slaw (Chicken Under a Brick)
Crispy Chicken Thighs
- 8 chicken thighs bone-in, skin on
- kosher salt
- 3 tbsp neutral oil
- ¼ c buttermilk
- ¼ c mayonnaise
- ¼ c grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice from ½ a lemon
- 2 anchovy filets optional
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 heaping cups roughly chopped Napa cabbage about ½ a head of cabbage
- 1 head radicchio roughly chopped
- 1 bunch broccolini roughly chopped
- Place the chicken thighs skin side down on a cutting board. Using a small, sharp knife cut straight down into flesh until the tip of the knife hits the bone. Lightly scrape the surface of the bone with short strokes cutting the meat away from bone on both sides until you can release it from the flesh. Discard the bones or save them in the freezer to add to chicken stock. If you're having any trouble check out this tutorial by The Woks of Life.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels then season on both sides with salt and pepper. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil to the pan, followed by the chicken skin side down. Wrap a cast iron pan in foil and place it on top of the chicken to weigh it down.
- Cook the chicken for 10-15 minutes, checking halfway through to make sure the skin isn't getting too dark, reduce the heat if needed. Once the skin is nice and golden brown, remove the cast iron pan and flip the chicken over to finish cooking on the other side, just 1-2 minutes.
- Serve the chicken with a heaping serving of buttermilk caesar slaw!
- Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Just before serving toss the dressing with the cabbage, radicchio and broccolini. Season with salt, top with extra grated parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Leftover chicken can be stored covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat skin side down in a cast iron pan to re-crisp the skin.
- Buttermilk Caesar Slaw will stay fresh for 24 hours in the refrigerator.