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Crispy Chicken Doesn't Have To Be Fried (Or Complicated): Try This Recipe Instead

Eliza Sullivan
June 3, 2020
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Crispy Lemon and Tomato Thyme Chicken Thighs
Image by Valerie Azinge, Yasaman Shafiei and Kabir Ali
June 3, 2020
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When you think of crispy chicken, it may call to mind images of fast-food, deep fryers, and carb-heavy breadings—but this recipe will convince you that low-carb crispy chicken isn't just possible, it's actually pretty simple.

One of the recipes shared by food writer and cook Valerie Azinge in her new cookbook 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners, this recipe is the best sort of dinner for a weeknight and for when you're trying to make your pantry last as long as possible. In just half an hour, with only six ingredients and one cast-iron skillet you'll have a perfect protein for your dinner table. Azinge recommends serving it with broccoli, but any healthy veggie will make a great pairing.

Not only is this dish simple, but it will also fit into a ketogenic diet plan with its low-carb inspiration. The flavors in the dish, like lemon, thyme, and tomatoes, are common notes in the cuisines that inspire the Mediterranean diet, which this dish fits into, too—just make sure you keep the Mediterranean diet food pyramid in mind when making your plate.

Crispy Lemon & Tomato Thyme Chicken Thighs

Serves 4


  • 4 to 5 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 1 medium Meyer or regular lemon, thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Optional: Steamed or roasted broccoli, for serving


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Arrange the rack right in the middle.
  2. Rub the chicken thighs with 1 tablespoon oil and salt and pepper. I recommend you give them a generous rub for extra flavor.
  3. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the remaining oil. Cook your chicken thighs with the skin side down for 15 minutes, until the fat has rendered out.
  4. Turn the heat off, add the tomatoes, and swirl around the rendered fat. Flip the chicken thighs so they are skin side up.
  5. Scatter the lemon slices and thyme sprigs over the chicken, and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for 18 minutes. Serve with steamed or roasted broccoli (if using).
Reprinted with permission from 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners by Valerie Azinge, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Valerie Azinge, Yasaman Shafiei and Kabir Ali.
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Eliza Sullivan author page.
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine,, and SUITCASE magazine.