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chicken thighs and orange slices in cast iron skillet.

Cast Iron Jalapeno Chicken Thighs

  • Author: Deb Belsha
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top, Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These crispy, juicy chicken thighs are filled with a sweet and spicy orange jalapeno relish.  The sweet, syrupy citrus flavor is balanced with some heat from the peppers.  The chicken is pan seared in a cast iron or other oven safe skillet and quickly finished in the oven.



Jalapeno Relish

  • 2 Jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade (regular or sugar free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on (about 1 1/2 - 2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium orange, half cut in slices or wedges, half left whole.


  1. Remove chicken thighs from refrigerator to come to room temperature.
  2. Make relish:  cut tops off peppers, remove the inside membrane and seeds.  Place peppers and garlic in a mini food processor or food chopper and pulse for 10 seconds.  Check consistency.  It should be finely minced but don't over process or the relish will lose texture and be mushy. *
  3. Stir in salt, vinegar and marmalade. Taste for sweetness and add more marmalade if needed.*
  4. Gently loosen skin from thighs and spoon about a tablespoon of the relish under skin. Smooth the relish over the thigh meat.  Pull skin back over the thigh.   Sprinkle salt and pepper over chicken.
  5. Preheat skillet over medium-high flame.  A
  6. Add oil to pan.  Place chicken thighs in pan, skin side down.  Pan fry for about 5-6 minutes or until the skin has browned.   Carefully turn the thighs over and cook that side for another 5-6 minutes.  If the chicken spatters too much, lower flame to medium or low-medium.  Preheat oven to 375°F.
  7. Squeeze the orange half over chicken and lay the orange slices around chicken.  Spoon any remaining relish over chicken.
  8. Place cast iron skillet in oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160°F.  Remove from oven, let chicken rest for 5 minutes and baste with pan juices.


*I removed the seeds from the peppers so that the relish was mildly spicy.  If you want more heat, leave a few seeds in the relish.  If you want more orange or sweetness, add more marmalade.

*If you don't have a food chopper or processor, you can finely mince the peppers with a sharp knife.

*Besides the crispy skin on the thighs, the pan juices are the best part.  Baste the chicken while it is resting  and spoon over right before serving.

*The nutrition was calculated using 2 tablespoons of orange juice from half the orange. The total carb count would be higher if you ate some of the orange or used more sauce.  But it would be minimal.

*The leftover chicken should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Reheat in a pan or oven to 165°F.  

Keywords: pan fried chicken thighs, pan seared chicken thighs, cast iron chicken thighs, stuffed chicken thighs