September 23, 2016

Herbed Summer Squash & Pasta Salad with Crispy Chicken Thighs

20 min

Chicken Thighs

  • 6 large bone-in chicken thigh with skin (about 2 1/4 pounds total)
  • 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt 

Rinse the chicken and pat it completely dry with paper towels. Gently pull the loose skin so that it covers the rounded top and sides of each thigh, taking care not to rip or tear the skin. Arrange the thighs in a single layer with sides not touching on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Generously and evenly salt the chicken. Place the chicken, uncovered, in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and preferable overnight. The more time the skin has to dry, the crisper it will be when cooked. 

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 450F. (Use the convection roast setting if you have it.) Roast until the meat is cooked through and the skin is very crisp and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. When the meat is pierced with the tip of a small knife, the juices should have no traces of pink. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh (avoiding the bone) should register 165F. Serve hot. 


  • 8 ounces pearl couscous
  • 4 tablespoons lemon-infused olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups diced assorted summer squashes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Cook the couscous according to package directions. Drain well, pour into a large bowl, toss with 2 tbsp of the oil, and set aside, stirring from time to time. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the squash and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add to the couscous. Stir in the cheese, basil, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pine nuts. The salad should be quite moist, so drizzle with more oil if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature, with the chicken. 

Serves 4-6

From The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands, and CSA Farm Boxes. Copyright © 2011 by Sheri Castle. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press. 

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