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With crispy skin, sweet sugar, tart lemon, and smooth, buttery pan juices engulfing every nook and cranny, is it any wonder why this is my favorite chicken dish?
Prick the chicken pieces all over with a fork and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar with half of the lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Mix the sugar with the remaining lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 2 minutes. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, and place chicken skin-side-down in the pan along with the remaining marinade. Cook until the chicken is browned on one side, 3 to 4 minutes, and then flip each piece over and cook 1 minute more. Sprinkle the lemon sugar over the chicken and transfer skillet to oven. Roast until chicken is completely cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F, about 25 minutes.
Remove chicken from oven. Cut remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and scatter around chicken. Pour the lemon juice over everything. Once butter is melted, serve with pan sauce drizzled over the chicken and lemon wedges on the side.