Golden, crispy skin on juicy oven-roasted chicken thighs. Quick and simple roasted asparagus. Both prepared with lemon, thyme, and parmesan flavors and topped with the perfect brightly flavored lemon-thyme butter sauce.
1bunch of asparagus, trimmedabout 1 pound, medium-sized
1/3cupfreshly grated parmesan cheese
3-4lemons, for 1-2 teaspoons lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 8-10 slices
2tbspextra virgin olive oil
2tbspunsalted butter, melted
fresh ground black pepper
Maldon or other flaky finishing salt [optional]
Preheat oven to 500F. Adjust one oven rack to the lowest position and the other to the upper-middle position, about 5 inches from the heating element.
Spray two large sheet pans lightly with non-stick cooking spray with high smoke point (such as avocado oil or canola oil). Place one in the oven to begin preheating, and set the other aside.
Prepare the chicken for roasting. Using a sharp knife or metal skewer, poke 10-12 holes in the skin side of each chicken piece.
Place the thighs skin side down and sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the parmesan cheese. Flip them over and repeat with same quantity of salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
Place thighs skin side down on preheated baking sheet and place lemon slices over the chicken. Return the baking sheet to the oven on the bottom rack.
Roast chicken until the underside is beginning to brown, about 15 to 18 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.
Using tongs, flip the chicken so it rests on the lemon slice and the skin side is now facing up. Continue to broil on the bottom half of the oven until the skin is beginning to crisp and the meat registers 165 degrees at the thickest point, about 12 to 15 more minutes.
While the chicken is roasting, combine the minced garlic with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt to form a smooth paste.
While the chicken is roasting, combine the minced garlic with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt to form a smooth paste. Combine the paste, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, and butter in a small bowl and stir to combine.
Measure about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a separate bowl and set it aside for the asparagus.
Remove the chicken from oven and heat the broiler. While the broiler heats, brush the chicken with half of the lemon-thyme mixture.
Broil the chicken on the upper rack until the skin is crisp and well-browned and the meat registers 175 degrees, about 3-5 minutes, rotating pan as needed for even browning.
Transfer the chicken to a platter and let it rest while the asparagus cooks.
Drizzle the remaining lemon-thyme mixture over the chicken.
While the chicken is roasting, toss the asparagus with the lemon-thyme mixture set aside. You can do this right in the sheet pan. Sprinkle with the remaining two tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Add the fresh thyme sprigs, scattered throughout the pan.
After the chicken comes out of the oven, return the oven to 500 degrees, but move the lower rack as high up as possible to free up the floor of the oven.
Cook 6-8 minutes, shaking the sheet and rotating the pan halfway through. Set the pan aside to cool the asparagus slightly before serving.
Remove the sprigs and transfer the asparagus to a plate for serving. Taste the asparagus, and add a sprinkle of Maldon or other flaky finishing sea salt for presentation.
Note: If you can’t put the pan on the floor of the oven, keep it on the lowest rack and add a pizza stone under the baking sheet, if you have one.