Brandeis Magazine

Winter 2023/2024

Oven-Broiled Chicken Thighs

Browned and crispy chicken thighs and onions in a black cast-iron skillet

Photo Credit: Brad Mahlof

This is one of Brad Mahlof’s favorite under-30-minutes weeknight meals. Check out, his food blog (or @cookwithbrad on Instagram), for more recipes, including appetizers, sides, soups and stews, and dishes for the Jewish holidays.


Place a rack in the top of the oven, and set the broiler to high. Alternatively, use the broil setting on a toaster oven, or use an air fryer.

Toss the chicken in a large bowl with the olive oil, baharat (or spice mix of your choice), 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, black pepper, sweet paprika, and cayenne. Marinate for at least 10 minutes at room temperature or up to two days covered in the fridge.

Heat a large cast-iron or broiler-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, add the vegetable oil and heat it for about a minute, then add the sliced onions. You should hear the onions sizzle as you add them to the pan.

Add the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and the cumin seeds (if using) to the onions, and give them a mix. Reduce the heat to medium; the onions should be gently sizzling. Stir occasionally and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

Place the marinated chicken on top of the cooked onions. (Important tip: The chicken pieces should not touch one another; an overcrowded pan will prevent the chicken from getting crispy.) If your pan is too small, transfer the onions to a large baking sheet, and place the chicken on top.

Broil for 7 to 8 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces, and broil another 7 minutes. Both sides of the chicken should be nicely browned and crispy.

Gently spoon the onions from under the chicken, distributing them around and on top of the chicken pieces. Serve with rice and salad, or over hummus and pita.