Lemon and pepper are one of those made to be together combinations that I’m shocked we don’t use on just everything. It hits all of the perfect notes with a peppery bite and a citrus note from the lemon zest. It is the perfect way to flavor this super easy chicken and green bean skillet. This recipe takes so little effort, but has so much flavor!
You guys love skillet recipes it seems and I love skillet recipes too! I always love when I see people ask what can you cook in cast iron and I just want to shout EVERYTHING! Some days I use it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and maybe dessert too! Luckily I have a couple skillets so I can get them going at the same time.
My Mimi asked me if I had any good recipes for green beans besides just steaming them. Of course the first thing that came to my mind was throwing them into my trusty skillet with some chicken to make it a meal. I have tried and tried to find a way to make green beans in the skillet without blanching before hand and to be honest it’s never worked out well. Either the beans are under cooked and too crunchy or they cook all the way through and are soggy with oil. My solution is to very quickly blanch the green beans while the chicken is browning. Tossing them into a hot skillet at the end gives them that nice crispy texture with slightly crinkled skin. If you prefer to make them in the skillet the whole time just add them when you add the chicken.
Summertime is just full of so many gorgeous fresh vegetables and I am constantly trying to find new ways to use them up. But it shouldn’t be too difficult to find some fresh green beans in the store any time of the year so we can still pretend like it’s summer time when winter hits again!
If you haven’t used chicken thighs in your cooking before I highly urge you to give it a try. The thigh meat is much more fatty and is definitely more forgiving of overcooking and not as prone to drying out. In this particular recipe I purchased skin on, bone-in thighs and then just removed the bone myself because my husband isn’t a fan of having to eat around it. If you must use bone-less, skin-less breast you can. But you will be missing out on that glorious crunchy skin and risking it being a little dried out at the end.
If you decide to give chicken thighs a chance please let me know how it goes. I love converting people to using them! And an added bonus is that they are usually cheaper than breasts. I’ve been able to pick them up at my grocery store for under $1 a pound before which is a crazy good deal!
Tips for making Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs & Green Bean Skillet
- The key to achieving the crispy skin is to make sure that your chicken has been patted dry with a paper towel to get any water off the surface. Then resist the urge to poke and prod it in the skillet. It will crackle and make a racket, but wait until the skin lifts from the pan easily. If you try to flip it when it’s still sticking it’s not ready to be turned yet!
- Blanch the green beans in boiling water to maintain their firm structure. By the time they cook all the way through in the pan they will be soggy and no one wants soggy green beans! All it takes is one extra pot and no time at all!
- Use fresh green beans for this recipe. When purchasing them look for ones that are a light green color with little to no browning. Avoid any that are slimy or wilted looking as they are not fresh and won’t have the same snap or flavor when cooked.
- 4 Chicken Thighs Skin-on, Deboned
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- 1 Lb Green Beans Trimmed
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 Fresh Lemon for garnish
Add water to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. While water is boiling prepare green beans by trimming off any stems and cutting into bite sized pieces if desired.
Prepare chicken thighs by removing bone. If you are unsure of how to do this there is a great tutorial here. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle eat piece with equal amounts of the salt and lemon pepper seasoning.
In a large skillet add the olive oil and heat to medium-high heat. When the olive oil is simmering (hot) add the chicken thighs skin down in the pan. You will leave them this way for about 10 minutes or until the skin has began to get a golden crust.
Once chicken has been added to the skillet, add the green beans to the boiling water and let cook for 5 minutes or until they are bright green and tender. Drain for the water and set aside.
After the chicken has cooked for 10 minutes skin side down, carefully flip each of the pieces over and move them to one side of the pan. Add in the green beans and drizzle with more olive oil if the pan is too dry.
Continue cooking, occasionally stirring the green beans so all of them are able to sear for about 10 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees and the juices run clear.
If the chicken is taking too long to cook you can place a lid over the skillet for an additional 5 minutes to allow it to complete cooking through.
Once everything is cooked through garnish with fresh lemon slices and juice if desired and serve hot!
Chicken breasts can be used in place of thighs in this recipe but you will be missing out on the crispy skin goodness! You may also use chicken thighs with the bone-in, but they will need a cook a bit longer.