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Coat a large, wide, straight-sided pan with olive oil and bring to high heat. Season the chicken generously with salt and add it, skin side down, to the pan—you should hear a big sizzle. If you don’t, remove the chicken and wait. When you put chicken in a hot pan, the first thing it wants to do is stick there and the first thing you want to do is move it. Resist the urge. It will unstick itself when it’s ready. When the skin is brown and crispy, 5-7 minutes, turn the chicken over and brown the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve.
Ditch the fat and lower the heat. Add another splash of olive oil to the pan and add the onions. Season with salt and red pepper and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the onions are soft and aromatic; then add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.