Chicken Thighs with Peppery Pesto


  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons spice seasoning of your choice (I used Penzey's Berbere could just use paprika or anything else that appeals to you)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, lard, tallow or ghee
  • 1 cup arugula, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 3 zucchini, julienned into pasta-like noodles (or you can use a spiral slicer)


  1. Dry the chicken thighs. Sprinkle the skin side with salt, pepper and seasoning.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and heat a large stainless steel or cast-iron skillet over high heat. Once hot, add your oil and then add the chicken thighs, skin side down. Reduce the heat on your stove to medium-high, and cook the thighs for about 10 minutes (note: the chicken pieces will give off a lot of juices, causing quite a lot of splatter. Now is a perfect time to use a splatter screen!). Turn over and allow to cook for about 5 minutes on the skinless side. Remove the chicken pieces to a plate, discarding all the chicken juices.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, make your pesto. To do so, place the arugula, parsley, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, salt and olive oil in a food processor and mix until well combined.
  4. Into the pan your chicken was cooked in, add the zucchini noodles, and toss with about 1/4 cup of the pesto - adding more to your taste preference.
  5. Place the chicken pieces on top of the zucchini, skin side up, and place the entire pan in the oven.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through.


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